"In its 2014 decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court upheld a town council’s practice of inviting local clergy to deliver prayers at the beginning of its sessions. At the time, many commentators — including myself — warned that the Court’s decision was a body blow to the wall of separation between church and state.
Two years later, our initial fears appear to be overblown, largely due to a line in Town of Greece which has since proved quite significant. A legislature has broad discretion to host opening prayers “so long as [it] maintains a policy of nondiscrimination.” Christian lawmakers who wish to begin their session with a prayer may do so, but they must give a turn to Jews or Muslims or Wiccans or even Satanists who want an opportunity to deliver that prayer.
On Monday, however, a federal appeals court effectively wrote this key line out of Town of Greece. The upshot of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s 2–1 decision in Lund v. Rowan County is that government officials may themselves open a legislative session with explicitly Christian prayers — and may exclude all others from the opportunity to deliver a prayer, despite the Supreme Court’s explicit command to the contrary."