Judge Denies Injunction for VA “Moment of Silence” Law

On Aug. 31, U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton denied a temporary injunction against Virginia’s new mandatory “moment of silence” law. Under the statute, Virginia public school students are required to observe one minute of silence at the outset of each day, instructed to “meditate, pray, or engage in other silent activity.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a case on behalf of nine students and their parents who believe the law is unconstitutional, violating the separation of church and state outlined in the First Amendment. The ACLU says it will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for the emergency injunction that Judge Hilton denied. Hilton did not rule on the law’s constitutionality, setting a hearing for Friday, September 9. In the meantime, several student plaintiffs in the case will seek permission from teachers and principals to walk out of their classroom during the mandated moment of silence.


Washington Post, Metro _ August 31, 2000

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