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ACLU sends Missouri public prayer amendment to court

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July 12, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam


JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: Late last week, on July 7, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri and the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri filed a lawsuit challenging the wording of the ballot summary of a proposed prayer amendment.

The proposed measure is one of two currently certified measures slated to appear on the November 6, 2012 statewide ballot. It calls for guaranteeing the right to pray and worship on public property and reaffirms a citizen's right to choose any or no religion.

According to reports, the legal challenge calls for the summary to be rewritten or for the measure to be removed from the 2012 statewide ballot.[1]

Specifically the lawsuit challenges that the summary is misleading because it does not mention that students could use the proposed amendment to avoid homework assignments or that the measure would "remove any state constitutional protection of religious expression or liberty for prisoners in state or local custody."[2]

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a minister in the United Methodist Church who is a spiritual advisor to inmates in the Missouri Department of Corrections and an associate professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.[2]

Lawsuits have been filed against both certified measures in Missouri. Click here for a list of lawsuits on measures proposed for the 2012 ballot.

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