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House passes bill to discourage court challenges to public religious symbols

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit federal courts from awarding attorney's fees to plaintiffs challenging the use of "religious words or imagery" in a public building, a veteran's memorial, or on the official seals of the United States. The 244-173 vote [roll call] approving the Public Expression of Religion Act [H.R. 2679 text] is thought to be mostly symbolic, however, as no similar bill is now under consideration in the Senate, nor is one expected in the near future.

Supporters of the bill say that local and state governments often cannot afford to defend against suits brought challenging religious symbols because a losing verdict means that they are responsible for paying the attorney's fees of the plaintiff. AP has more.

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