Mobile, Ala. — A federal judge temporarily barred Alabama from enforcing its new voluntary school prayer law, ruling the state cannot force citizens into religious activity.
US District Judge W. Brevard Hand's ruling makes the law inoperative until a trial can be held on its constitutionality. He set no trial date. Sources said the state planned to file a motion with the US Supreme Court next week to void Judge Hand's ruling. The ruling came after a two-day hearing with ministers, evangelists, laymen, pupils, and teachers testifying about prayer.