Legislative prayer gets Supreme Court review

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By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will settle a dispute over prayer in the halls of government, but only after following its custom of asking for God's protection.

The case being argued at the court Wednesday involves prayers said at the start of town council meetings in Greece, N.Y., a Rochester suburb. It is the court's first legislative prayer case since 1983, when the justices said that an opening prayer is part of the nation's fabric and not a violation of the First Amendment.

But the federal appeals court in New York held that the town crossed a line and violated the Constitution by opening nearly every meeting over an 11-year span with prayers that stressed Christianity.

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