High court to review church-state dispute over public prayers

Photo from Erika Dimmler/CNN
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 10:00am

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A dispute over public prayers at town board meetings will be taken up by the Supreme Court in coming months, another contentious case over the intersection of faith and the public arena.

The justices announced Monday it will decide whether a New York community may continue what it calls "inclusive" prayers at its town board sessions. The policy now allows Wiccans and atheists to offer invocations.

But some local citizens sued and a federal appeals court found the policy to be an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause, which forbids any government "endorsement" of religion.

The petition will be argued later this year or early in 2014, with a ruling ready by the spring.

The case is Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway (12-696).

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