Feb 9, 2011 5:23 PM by Stephanie Collins

Federal judge dismisses prayer lawsuit against AFA

DENVER (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a prayer luncheon at the Air Force Academy.

U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello ruled Wednesday in Denver. She said associate professor David Mullin and a watchdog group, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, didn't show they had legal standing to bring the suit.

Their suit alleged the event violates the constitutional separation of church and state because it appears to be sponsored by the academy itself and because Mullin and other faculty members believe they'll face retribution if they don't attend, even though it is officially voluntary.

A Justice Department attorney said Mullin's fears of retribution were "entirely speculative" and that he didn't raise his concerns with the chain of command at the academy.




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