Foundation says governor violated Constitution with prayers before press conferences

State - Regional
State of the State_1517344911124

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster applauds a guest while delivering his state of the state address at the South Carolina Statehouse Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A national organization says South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is violating the Constitution by holding prayers before press conferences.

News outlets report the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the governor’s office concerning two prayers earlier this month before press conferences regarding Hurricane Dorian.

Foundation attorney Ryan Jayne says the practice violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government from favoring one religion over others.

A spokesperson for the governor, Brian Symmes, says as long as McMaster is governor and the state has to prepare for dangerous storms, there will be a chaplain saying prayers before press conferences.

The foundation also sent McMaster a letter in January concerning prayers before press conferences for Hurricane Florence last September.

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