Group says it would defend new Mississippi prayer law

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A nonprofit conservative group says it will provide free legal representation to Mississippi schools or districts if a new school prayer law is challenged in court.

Liberty Counsel attorney Steve Crampton tells The Associated Press on Friday that the group believes the law is constitutional.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law Thursday, and it takes effect July 1. It says all Mississippi school districts must adopt a policy to allow a “limited public forum” at school events such as football games or morning announcements, to let students express religious beliefs.

Bear Atwood, legal director for American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, says she thinks the law “has serious constitutional issues.” She says the ACLU is likely to file a lawsuit to challenge it, if proselytizing takes place in schools.

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