Judge slams critics of Texas school prayer ruling

SAN ANTONIO,TX (AP) - A federal judge blasted by Newt Gingrich and other conservatives for his ruling that prohibited prayer at a Texas high school graduation is firing back in accepting a settlement to the case.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery on Thursday admonished those who "demagogued this case for their own political goals." He then added, "You should be ashamed of yourselves."

Biery did not mention anyone by name in his court order. Yet one target appeared to be Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who condemned the judge's decision last summer to issue the prayer ban after an agnostic family filed a lawsuit.

Under the settlement, the Medina Valley Independent School District will not officially make prayer part of graduation ceremonies. The settlement doesn't prohibit student speakers from praying during their remarks.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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