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August 21, 1981 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-08-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

18

THE DETRE JEWISH NEWS

Friday, August 21, 1981

SHERMAN FRIED & SHERMAN

Court Dismisses Louisiana School Prayer

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NEW ORLEANS (JTA)
— The American Jewish
Congress has hailed a deci-
sion by the Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeals declaring
unconstitutional a
Louisiana statute that
authorized prayers in public
schools.
The AJCongress had filed
a friend-of-the court brief in
the case challenging the
school-prayer law.
The court's two-to-one de-
cision was handed down
Aug. 12 in the case of Karen
B. vs. Treen, according to
Nathan Dershowitz, direc-

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for of the AJCongress
Commission on Law and So-
cial Action. It involved Act
519 of the 1980 Louisiana
Legislature, signed into law
by Governor David Treen
and authorizing local school
boards to allow teachers "to
ask if a student wishes to
volunteer to offer a prayer
and, in the event that no
student does volunteer, to
allow the teacher to offer a
prayer."
Following the enact-
ment of the law, the Jef-
ferson Parish (county)
School Board passed a
resolution establishing
"a moment of prayer
and/or silent meditation
at the beginning of each
school day ..."
Several parents in the
school district challenged
the resolution in the U.S.

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legitimate secular inter-
District Court for the East-
ern District of Louisiana. ests."
In its friend-of-the-
When the District Court
ruled against them, the court brief, the AJCon-
parents appealed the deci- gress argued: "Nearly 20
sion to the Court of Appeals, years ago, the United
which has now upheld their States Supreme Court
appeal. The state of squarely held that a
Louisiana is expected to ap- state-sponsored program
peal to the U.S. Supreme of prayer in the public
schools, though volun-
Court.
In its ruling, the Circuit tary, violates the Estab-
Court declared: "Since lishment clause of the
prayer is a primary reli- United States Constitu-
gious activity in itself, its tion ...
"Holding Act 519 uncon-
observance in publfc
classrooms has, if anything, stitutional would not estab
a more obviously religious lish a 'religion of secularism
purpose than merely dis- hostile to religion.' The
playing a copy of a religious Supreme Court and the
text in the classroom. Even lower courts have clearly
if the avowed objective of held that forbidding prayer
the legislature and school programs in the public
board is not itself strictly schools neither abridges
religious, it is sought to be students' freedom to pray
achieved through the ob- nor exhibits government
servance of an intrinsically hostility to religion.
"Rather, invalidation of
religious practice.
"The unmistakable mes- Act 519 is necessary to
sage of the Supreme Court's preserve the state's con-
teachings is that the state stitutionally-mandated
cannot employ a religious neutrality in religious mat-
means to serve otherwise ters."

Yaacov Meridor Is Planning
to Overhaul Israel Economy

TEL AVIV (JTA) —
Yaacov Meridor, appointed
as the economic coordinator
in the new Cabinet of Pre-
mier Menahem Begin, says
he intends running the
country, from the economic
point of view, as a "big busi-
ness."
He told a radio inter-
viewer that he would- con-
centrate on long-range
planning. "Most of the tools,
machinery and equipment
in the country is idle most of
the time, working one shift
while their capacity is two
or three shifts," he said.
"This isn't because of any
lack of markets but because
of the wage structure, and
the lack of incentives and
taxes for the private indus-
trialist as well as for the
worker."
He asserted, "My first ef-
fort will be to change this,
otherwise it means disaster
for the Israeli economy."
He said he foresaw no
difficulties with the His-

tadrut in this respect.
"The only difference is
that if a factory owner is
offered incentives you'll
find him in the factory at
midnight instead of going
to a concert, unlike the
Histadrut official (in
charge of a labor union
cooperative enterprise)
who might not be so in-
terested."
Meridor said it was condi-
tions which made the Israeli
worker lazy. If offered in-
centives, in the form of no
income tax on overtime
payments, he would work
harder "and we will make
him a rich man."
He said he was in favor of
a nominal five-day week
"but the worker will prob-
ably agree to work and pro-
duce on Fridays, also, if he
gets incentives without in-
come tax." He saw no prob-
lems with Sabbath work.
"Everybody has to have a
day off," he said.

Coal Arrives for Hadera

TEL AVIV (JTA) — The
first load of coal for the new
power station at Hadera ar-
rived in Israel last week
from Australia. The 60,000
tons were to be unloaded
after a ship from Britain
with special cranes, also
carrying coal, arrived the
following day. A strike de-
layed unloading.
The new power station,
largest in the country and
the first to be fired by coal,
will start working within a
couple of weeks, at first on

heavy oil until enough coal
has been piled up.

During the first stage
the coal will be unloaded
into barges. Work is pro-
ceeding on the construc-
tion of docks two miles
off-shore which will be
linked with the shore by a
conveyor belt.

Construction of the pier
has been delayed by the de-
struction during a storm
last winter of the building
equipment.

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