Arizona gov. defends Day of Prayer proclamation

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is asking a federal court in Phoenix to dismiss a lawsuit over her "day of prayer" proclamations.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has questioned the constitutionality of Brewer's proclamation in 2009 and 2010 as well as her Day of Prayer proclamation for the state budget on Jan. 17, 2010.

The Madison group filed a suit on behalf of four Arizonans identified of nonbelievers in religion.

Last week, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a legal challenge filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation regarding the National Day of Prayer. Brewer says she's confident of a similar outcome in the Arizona case.

Gubernatorial spokesman Matt Benson says proclaiming a day of prayer is an American tradition dating back to George Washington's presidency.