Moment of Silence Suit Could Balloon

March 19, 2008

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The legal fight over Illinois' moment of silence law could expand soon. In fact, it could rope in all of the state's public schools and students.

The challenge to Illinois' moment of silence law began with a single student at Buffalo Grove High, but today, a federal judge said to settle that case, Illinois schools districts could become defendants.

Supporters of the moment of silence include The Alliance Defense Fund. Alliance Attorney David Cortman.

CORTMAN: As to the issue of certifying the class, which the judge granted, it's going to include over a million students and also over eight hundred school districts. Each one of those districts had the right to be heard in the case, so you have a case taking on a life of its own.

The federal judge will hold off on making his decision official at least until March 28. He says that should give the state and other parties time to inform school districts about the case.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.