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Groups praise court's decision on NC prayer case

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) -- Backers of a lawsuit over Christian prayers before Forsyth County commission meetings are praising a US Supreme Court decision not to hear an appeal of a judge's order prohibiting the practice.

The North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State say the court's decision Tuesday is a victory for the First Amendment.

The lawsuit argued that the prayers constituted an official endorsement of Christianity over other religions.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group, represented the county commissioners. The group says the Supreme Court missed an opportunity to clarify a point of law that lower courts have disagreed about.

A call to the Forsyth board of commissioners was not immediately returned Tuesday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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