Yesterday, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the constitutionality of prayer before legislative bodies in Town of Greece v. Galloway. Although complainants Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens argued that the prayers before town council meetings in Greece, NY—led by invariably Christian chaplains —violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment, the court’s conservatives found that they served a largely ceremonial purpose. I mean “they” the prayers, not “they” the court’s conservatives—one of whom, Clarence Thomas, also opined that the First Amendment “probably prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion.” That’s not even the marquee quote from this case, though. The big one is from Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion, and it’s the subject of today’s Close Reading. Primary text after the jump.