WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by a Fredericksburg City Council member who was barred from invoking Jesus at council meetings.
The high court yesterday declined to hear the case of the Rev. Hashmel Turner, who claimed that the city was violating his First Amendment rights. The case is Turner v. Fredericksburg, Va., City Council.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Turner last July, saying that his use of "in Jesus' name" when ending opening prayers wasn't protected because it was government speech, not individual expression.
The council implemented a policy permitting only nondenominational prayers after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to file a lawsuit over Turner's sectarian prayers.