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First freedom

National | Churches have free-speech rights, too.

Issue: "How to fix baseball," June 21, 2003

Churches have free-speech rights, too. A panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals this month ruled 2-1 that public-school officials can't lock church members out of facilities rented to other groups. The decision upheld a federal trial court's ruling last year in a case involving the Bronx Household of Faith Church (WORLD, July 20, 2002).

The New York City school board must abolish its policy that bans religious instruction and worship from school buildings open to other groups. The appeals court said it had relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Good News Club vs. Milford. It agreed the school board had violated the church members' First Amendment rights.

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Edward E. Plowman
Edward E. Plowman

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