AG Paxton Lauds SCOTUS Decision to Uphold First and Fourth Amendments

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Thursday, June 28, 2018 – Austin

Attorney General Ken Paxton today lauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in support of Mary Anne Sause, who alleges that Colorado law enforcement officers told her that she did not have the right to pray in her own residence after the officers’ investigation into a noise complaint had concluded. Texas filed an amicus brief in support of Sause’s petition to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court today issued a rare summary reversal of last year’s Tenth Circuit ruling claiming that the officers who told Sause she must stop praying were entitled to qualified immunity regardless of Sause’s First Amendment rights.

“The First Amendment protects each person’s right to live out their faith according to their beliefs. It guarantees the rights of conscience to all Americans,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Religious liberty should never be confined to the four walls of a place of worship. Every American should have the freedom to pray within his or her own home and in the public square.”

Sause filed this case on the grounds of a First Amendment violation. Today, the Supreme Court found that the allegations in this case suggest that her Fourth Amendment freedom from unreasonable search and seizure might have been violated as well. Summarily reversing the Tenth Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court determined that the court of appeals should have considered that implicit Fourth Amendment claim.

View a copy of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion here: