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Lawmakers propose amendment to overturn Commandments ruling

[JURIST] More than 100 congressmen on Thursday backed a proposal for a constitutional amendment that would protect more religious expression on public property. The steps are being taken to reverse the holding in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky [opinion; JURIST report] in which the US Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in courthouses. Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK) [official website] and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) announced [press release] the so-called Religious Freedom Amendment, backed by 104 Republicans and 5 Democrats in the House, reading as follows:

To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience:

--The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools.
--The United States and the States shall not establish any official religion nor require any person to join in prayer or religious activity
The proposed amendment, Thursday's House measure to cut federal funding for development projects involving the seizure of private property [JURIST report], and the recent judicial review legislation prompted by the Terri Schiavo case [JURIST report] highlight a growing discontent among conservatives with regard to the actions of the federal judiciary. CNS has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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