A superior court judge has barred the town of Franklin, Vt., from holding a prayer at the start of its annual town meeting.
Judge Martin Maley sided with a local woman who sued to block the prayer. Marilyn Hackett said that over the years she has repeatedly objected to the practice.
She said the Christian prayer violates Vermont's constitution, which protects against forced participation in religious worship.
The court will hold a hearing to determine the damages to be awarded to Hackett, who is seeking legal fees.