Appeals court rules Texas courtroom can open with prayer

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By JANET McCONNAUGHEY

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A deeply split federal appeals court has ruled that a Texas judge may start the day with prayer, overturning a district court decision. Judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans split 2-1 in opinions handed down Thursday.

The majority said Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack doesn’t force anyone to attend the prayers before court formally opens.

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The third judge said he thinks that finding suggests “willful blindness and indisputable error.”