In Sause v. Bauer, 138 S.Ct. 2561 (2018) (per curiam), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed dismissal on qualified immunity grounds of an apartment resident's lawsuit under the Free Exercise Clause against current and former members of a town police department and current and former mayors for ordering her to stop praying. On the one hand, the court left no doubt that the First Amendment protects the right to pray as an exercise of religion, but on the other hand, determined, "there are clearly circumstances in which a police officer may lawfully prevent a person from praying at a particular time and place"; for example, when to avoid delaying transportation to jail once a suspect is under arrest. The court remanded the case for "consideration of the ground on which the officers were present in the apartment and the nature of any legitimate law enforcement interests that might have justified an order to stop praying at the specific time in question."
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Police May Stop Prayer in Certain Circumstances
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