- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2005

GREAT FALLS, S.C. (AP) — A small South Carolina town is facing a hefty legal bill after losing a battle over whether it should stop using Jesus Christ’s name in prayers before council meetings.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused in June to hear the town’s appeal of a lower court ruling over the prayers.

Now Darla Wynne wants Great Falls to pay her more than $65,000 to cover legal bills. A judge is expected to rule on the matter within the next two months.

Miss Wynne, who describes herself as a Wiccan priestess, sued Great Falls in 2001, saying the town violated the separation of church and state by using the name Jesus Christ in prayers because it promoted one religion over the other.

The money is not covered by insurance, and it is not clear where the town of about 2,200 residents would get the cash. The amount is about 7 percent its annual budget.

Miss Wynne’s attorney, Herbert Buhl said lawyers had incurred only about $18,000 in expenses before the town decided to appeal, then “spent two years in extra litigation while they went to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said.

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