House panel postpones vote on Religious Freedom Amendment

Tuesday, March 3, 1998

Rep. Ernest Ist...
Photo by AP
Rep. Ernest Istook

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee decided this afternoon to delay consideration of a constitutional amendment supporters claim will provide greater protection for religious expression in public places.

The Religious Freedom Amendment is now scheduled for a vote Wednesday morning.

Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., on behalf of religious conservative groups, introduced the amendment last year. Istook and supporters claim the amendment is needed to make sure prayer is permitted in public schools.

Opponents of the amendment, like Americans United for Separation of Church and State claim religious liberty is already adequately protected by the Bill of Rights.

Rob Boston, assistant director of communications for Americans United said the committee postponed the vote because of an expected lengthy debate. Boston said the amendment is widely expected to pass the committee along party lines.