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The Local Impact Of The Supreme Court's Decision On Prayer At Public Meetings

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A major decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the role of religion in government could affect public meetings on the First Coast.Last week the court ruled that the United States Constitution allows local governments to start their meetings with sectarian prayers.

The 5-4 vote reflects very different views on the high court on the role of faith in public life, and it has wide-ranging implications for municipalities across the country.

Over the years, the issue of sectarian prayer has cropped up time and again at Jacksonville City Council meetings, where some groups have objected to the use of Christian prayer to start the proceedings.

Dr. Julie Ingersoll, associate professor of religious studies at the University of North Florida, and Jeffrey Schmitt, assistant professor of law at Florida Coastal of Law, joined Melissa Ross for analysis of what the decision could mean for the First Coast.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.