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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 22, 1998
3:20 PM
CONTACT:  Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Joseph Conn or Rob Boston
conn@au.org / boston@au.org

Statement Of The Rev. Barry W. Lynn On The Supreme Court's Rejection Of  Alabama's Gov. Fob James' States' Rights Plea
 
WASHINGTON - June 22 - In a document filed May 1 with the Supreme Court, Alabama Gov. Fob James argued that state governments, not the Supreme Court, have the constitutional power to make decisions about church-state relations. Today the justices rejected the filing without comment.

"Gov. James' appeal to the Supreme Court never had a prayer," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "It was so bizarre, the justices brushed it aside in near record time."

"Gov. James seems to be trying to get Alabama to secede again," Lynn continued. "It didn't work in 1861 and it won't work now. The Bill of Rights applies to all levels of government, including the governor's office in Alabama."

Gov. James' request to the high court came as a result of a federal district court decision against school-sanctioned prayer and other religious activities in Alabama public schools.

The Chandler v. James suit was brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Alabama affiliate of the ACLU. It is currently pending before the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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