Prayer Returns to Indiana House

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana House will once again invite clergy members and other guests to give opening prayers before legislative work begins, a tradition that was suspended because of a lawsuit.

A U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled last year that taxpayers who sued over the prayers did not have the legal standing. So on Tuesday, as lawmakers gathered for an organization day at the Statehouse before the January session begins, the House started its business with a minister's prayer.

The House also adopted new rules Tuesday that change the order of its proceedings, moving the prayer before the period when Representatives register their presence.

House Speaker Patrick Bauer says that "makes it optional and voluntary."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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