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Report: Group Still Trying to Save Prayer Banner

A group of past and present Cranston High School West students last week appealed a federal court judge's rejection of their motion to intervene in the prayer banner saga last month.

The group of past and present students of Cranston High School West whose effort to reopen the prayer banner case was rebuffed by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux last month have appealed his denial of their motion to intervene.

The Associated Press reported that the group, identified as Michael Motaranni, Christian Frangos, Olivia Frangos, Carolyn Mesagno, Lori McClain, Jared McMullen and Ronald L'Heureux, filed an appeal of Lagueux's ruling last week in District Court.

, since their motion was filed after the entry of final judgement and an . The ACLU filed the suit alleging display of the banner in a school is unconstitutional.

"It is time to move on," the judge wrote. "Courts generally look with disfavor on motions to intervene that are filed after the entry of final judgement. The matter of the prayer mural was covered extensively by the news media. Moreover, it seems apparent tot ht Court tat at least some of the would-be intervenors attended some or all of the many public hearings held by the Cranston School Committee in connection with this issue. By mid-January, when the court issued its Decision and Order, Movants knew that the Court's ruling had not gone as they hoped."

More than a month went by as the School Committee went through a process before deciding to not appeal the ruling. The final judgement was entered two-and-a-half weeks later. It wasn't until then that the group filed their motion.

The group's arguments, which were based on various bits of case law, is described by Lagueux as "a mishmash of misguided and frivolous arguments."

"They assert that compelling and dispositive arguments were presented to the Cranston School Committee at the public hearings that were not included in the Defendants' briefs to this Court. Movants believe that these arguments, if considered by this court, would have resulted in a different ruling," Lagueux wrote. "They are wrong."

Quoting Alexander Pope, Lagueux said "A little learning is a dangerous thing."

Lagueux said the Movants argued that all of the Supreme Court's rulings on the Establishment Cause of the Constitution, which sets the framework for separation of church and state standards, is based on one decision: Everson v. Board of Ed. of Ewing Township in 1947, which they said was "wrongly decided in contravention" of the constitution.

They also cite the state and national Constitutions and various writings from the founding fathers that speak to the role of Christianity in our country.

Those arguments were frivolous, Lagueux said, because the Movants "concede as a part of their argument that this Court's decision is in line with a half-century of Supreme Court precedent. This court is not merely guided, but it is bound, by Supreme Court precedent."

That requirement is known as stare decisis and is "a bedrock of the rule of law on which the stability of our nation is based," the judge wrote. "Suffice it to say that the Supreme Court precedents on school prayer are clear, and this court is bound to adhere to that law."

Peruse our exhaustive coverage of the prayer banner saga by scrolling through our archives HERE.

deb of see-attleboro May 16, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Robin: The first question you asked at 5/14 at 4:55pm in response to my comment at 12:11pm can speak for itself. If it made no difference, why ask? If Christians are asking for exemptions so they can bully ANYONE in or out of school, that is wrong. Some Christians may perceive gays get special protection under the law because of their status as gay Americans.
Robin Lionheart May 16, 2012 at 07:26 PM
@deb A question you still have not answered, I notice. Don’t know of any, do you?
Paul Auger May 16, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I dont know where THAT came from. I tried to be gentle because there seemed to be real element of pain in your post. You seemed to have real heartfelt passion not just the typical agenda. I was wrong. There are differences between so called godly principles and Humanistic ideals Godly teachings are not based on evidence they not change when new data is presented. Godly teachings keep people chained to ignorance. I would agree some morals taught today are killing people. The deadly teachings of religion are deadly. Look at the HIV epidemic that the church spread across Africa by providing misinformation about condoms, Godly teachings lie about history. The recalculation of the age of the earth to 6,000 yrs. Perhaps these faith based schools are closing not because they are "under attack" but because they offer a useless product not worth spending income on. This is why accreditation does matter. Most institutions of higher education want students with the proper background/skills to succeed. Accreditation is a way to look at curriculum to see if the school at least offers accurate, up to date information and experiences that will assure student succuess. This is why we have been asking you for specific examples of schools under attack, something you failed to provide. You cant produce this list. if you could, we could look at the reasons they closed and find other reasons besides the "war on religion" and this would poke holes in your augments.
deb of see-attleboro May 17, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Paul: You said "I don't know where THAT came from." Maybe free thought...maybe divine inspiration. NEWS FLASH!!!! If you want to make a list of schools that have closed in this area GOOGLE!! It's one of the miracles of modern technology. While you're at it, research the great works done by missionaries around the globe and the atrocities committed by governments. In other words, and with all due respect, get your head out of your.....never mnd.
Paul Auger May 17, 2012 at 02:32 AM
We asked for a list of schools YOU were referring to. The list one would get off Google would not have a star next to it saying "This is one of the schools Deb was talking about on Patch." Believe it or not Deb the world and the internet does not revolve around you. You started the conversation suggesting that faith based schools were being shut down due to their philosophy. This implied that you knew of at least one or more specific examples of faith based schools that were "under attack". No one disagreed that could be a possibility, all we asked for was the list of schools you had in mind when you made that post, you are the only one that can provide that. Next I asked you to explore the reasons that they were closed. It COULD have been to the the fact that they are faith based, I never denied this, I just asked for documentation. You provided NONE. I also suggested some other possible reasons that they were closed. High operating costs. Overwhelming tuition, lack of accreditation, or they were offering a product that there was too little demand for. None of these are an attack on the schools but simply other possibilities. If you are going to make your Ideas public, which you did by posting them on the internet, you need to expect to be asked to back your points up, with evidence.You need to be willing to explore other ideas. Deb which faith based school did you have in mind? Is it possible there was no list Did you get caught up in the hype? Do they even exist?

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