Commonwealth Policy Center

The city of Louisville learned the hard way that it has no control over the prayers of its public employees. But it took a lawsuit to figure that out. 13-year police veteran Matt Schrenger prayed outside of EMW’s abortion center with his father last February. But after someone reported him, the city suspended him for 4 months, placed him under investigation, and stripped him from active duty. Schrenger was off duty when he prayed. Nor did he violate any law so he sued to uphold his First Amendment freedoms. Schrenger prevailed in court, and the city of Louisville was ordered to pay him $75,000 for violating his constitutional and civil rights. Perhaps next time, the city will think twice before it suspends its employees over prayers.