This year, on the eve of National Prayer Day, she led 15 students and seven adults on a class trip to Washington, D.C., where they took a tour of the Supreme Court building. After taking pictures on the steps of the Oval Plaza, the group gathered to the side of the steps where Rigo led it in quiet prayer. A Supreme Court police officer told the group it had to stop.
Why? Praying in that place was against the law, he said, citing Section 6135 of Title 40 of the United States Code, which says parades and processions are forbidden on Supreme Court grounds. Even though the group was praying quietly and not in a way meant to attract attention, the officer said the law applied. The group moved to the sidewalk, forcing most of the students to stand in a gutter to finish their prayer. The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to Supreme Court officials insisting that conversational level prayers be permitted on court grounds, arguing that to find otherwise would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.