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The Nation : School Prayer Test Fails

In the Senate’s first test this year of sentiment over allowing prayer in school, the Republican-controlled chamber overwhelmingly defeated a bill that would have stripped the Supreme Court and other federal courts of jurisdiction in school prayer cases. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N. C.), was shelved on a 62-36 vote, with relatively little debate. Critics contended it would have been unconstitutional, while Helms insisted it merely implemented Article III of the Constitution, which gives federal courts jurisdiction over cases on appeal “with such exceptions and under such regulations as Congress shall make.”


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