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ience or they may assemble in groups during free time to pray at their own choosing. They are, however, not to pray during the official school day and they are not to be led in prayer by school personnel. We also have the opportunity, which we have largely neglected, to introduce courses of study on different world religions into our school curricula, to enhance our children's appreciation of the religious quests of the world's peoples. This could also be a way of acquainting students with religions as integral parts of cultural heritages.

What I think we don't want is government-supported evangelism or proselytizing. This would only be asking for problems which our already-troubled public schools don't need. Instead, America's public schools need our help to be restored as free spaces for learning by all children, without intimidation. An important ingredient in this environment is their discovery of what they sharenot the belaboring of what makes them distinct and separate. Knowing more fully what we, this rainbow of humanity, share together as Americans, is not only the greatest hope for the future of our society, but it could help us begin to maximize our opportunity to demonstrate that peoples, heretofore travelling radically different roads, can meet at the same junction.

One way of missing this opportunity, I believe, is to turn our public schools into battlegrounds for a holy

war.

Since 1972, the Reverend M. William Houard has served as Executne Director of the Black Counal of the Reformed Church in Amerua. He has recently completed a three-year term as President of the National Council of Churches and currenth chuurs its Information Committee. Rew Houard is a native of Amerius, Georgia, and is a graduate of Morehouse College. He is a board member of the National l'ban League, the Independent Sector and PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN MAX.

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO

PERMIT VOLUNTARY PRAYER

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1982

U.S. SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,

Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:18 p.m., in room 2228 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Strom Thurmond (committee chairman) presiding.

Present: Senator Specter.

Staff present: Eric Hultman, general counsel; Mike Klipper, chief counsel, Criminal Law Subcommittee; and Mary Louise Westmoreland, counsel, Juvenile Justice Subcommittee.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN STROM THURMOND The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

Another Senator was to chair the hearings here, and I just got word, 5 minutes ago, that he was not here, so I canceled other plans to come on up so it would not inconvenience you people any more than we could help.

Today the committee contines its hearings on Senate Joint Resolution 199, a proposed constitutional amendment to permit voluntary prayer in schools. We are privileged today to have a group of witnesses who have, either in their law practice, or in the academic field, given great thought to this matter of voluntary prayer in schools.

As you may know, this matter is presently being debated on the Senate floor this afternoon in the context of an amendment to the pending debt limit bill. Although that amendment differs somewhat from Senate Joint Resolution 199, which is a constitutional amendment, the question of voluntary prayer is an important one to an overwhelming percentage of Americans. The testimony we will hear today will be helpful to the resolution of the legal barriers preventing children from engaging in voluntary prayer in schools.

I believe our first panel this afternoon is composed of Mrs. Hermine Herta Meyer-Mrs. Meyer, glad to have you with us—Mr. James M. Smart, Jr.-Mr. Smart, if you will come around, attorney at law_at Kansas City-Mrs. Meyer is from Chevy Chase, I believe-Prof. Grover Rees, University of Texas Law School, Austin,

Тех. .

Now, we will be pleased to hear from you all in such order as you care to present your cause.

Professor Rees, do you wish to go first or last?

Mr. REES. I was told that I was last on the program. If you want to change it, it is all right.

The CHAIRMAN. All right, we will take Mrs. Meyer.
Mrs. Meyer is first on the list. We will take her first.

Now, I was thinking this, if you have long statements, my suggestion is that you put them in the record, and then just summarize briefly.

Does that suit you all right?

Is this your statement, Mrs. Meyer? You have got a pretty long statement here, Mrs. Meyer.

Mrs. MEYER. I shall summarize it.

The CHAIRMAN. Seventeen pages, so without objection, we will put this in the record, and if you will take 5 minutes to summarize.

In order to hear all of these witnesses, and some of them have come a long distance, we are going to have to ask all of you just to put your entire statement in the record, where it is available for all the Senators, and give you 5 minutes each to summarize it.

So, Mrs. Meyer, you may proceed. STATEMENTS OF HERMINE HERTA MEYER, ATTORNEY AT LAW,

CHEVY CHASE, MD., ACCOMPANIED BY MARY ELIZABETH BULL, PRESIDENT, MARYLAND INTERFAITH COMMITTEE FOR SCHOOL PRAYERS, CHEVY CHASE, MD.; JAMES M. SMART, JR., ATTORNEY, SMART & WHITEHEAD, KANSAS CITY, MO.; GROVER REES, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LAW SCHOOL, AUSTIN, TEX.

Mrs. MEYER. Mr. Chairman, I thank you for this opportunity to appear before you on behalf of the State of Alabama, and explain why the State of Alabama cannot support S.

The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead, Mrs. Meyer, I am listening to you.
Mrs. MEYER. Why the State-
The CHAIRMAN. What are you waiting for?
Mrs. MEYER. Yes.

I am here to explain why the State of Alabama cannot support the amendment.

Originally, I was also supposed to speak on behalf of the Maryland Interfaith Committee for School Prayers, whose founder and president, Mrs. George G. Bull, is right here, sitting next to me, and therefore I can only speak for the State of Alabama, and Mrs. Bull would like very much to be permitted later to make a very brief statement on behalf of her committee, less than 1 page.

Now, I wish to point out, however, that the wishes of the Maryland Interfaith Committee for School Prayers and those of the people of Alabama, as expressed by their legislature and their Governor, are the same, namely, to enable the people in the States to have prayers in their public schools if they so wish.

But the reasoning of the Maryland Interfaith Committee for School Prayers is simply that they have tried for so many years, in vain, to get Congress to pass a law to prevent the Federal courts from taking jurisdiction in cases relating to school prayers that they now hope that they might accomplish this purpose through a constitutional amendment.

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