Supreme Court Declines to Hear City Council Prayer Case

SUPREME COURT (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear
an appeal by a city councilman who's been barred from praying in
Jesus' name at council meetings.

The high court declined to hear the case of the Rev. Hashmel Turner, who serves on the Fredericksburg, Virginia, City Council.

The council implemented a policy permitting only nondenominational prayers after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue over Turner praying in Jesus' name.

Turner then sued the city, claiming the restriction on his prayers was unconstitutional.

But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Turner's prayers are not protected because they're government speech, not individual expression.

Turner refuses to alter his prayers, so he says the council no longer lets him deliver invocations.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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