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Saying that he does not want his courtroom to become a "three-ring circus," the federal judge presiding over Louisiana's creationism case has limited the number of lawyers he will allow to participate in the July 26 trial.

To keep the trial orderly, U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola has limited to two the number of attorneys for each side who can sit at lawyers' tables in the courtroom. However, the judge also rejected Louisiana Attorney General William J. Guste's effort to keep the American Civil Liberties Union out of the case.

The attorney general brought the suit against the state department of education for refusing to implement the law until its constitutionality is settled in court.


The dispute over the firing of four nuns in Hampton, N.H., is beginning to take on the appearance of an all-out civil war. From the sharply divided parish of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, word comes that the pastor, the Rev. Girard Boucher, has refused to allow any of the nuns' supporters to run for the parish's board of school trustees.

And in Chicago, the National Coalition of American Nuns has urged teaching nuns across the country not to apply for the vacant posts.

The four nuns, who were fired in January without a formal hearing and lost the first round of their court fight, say their next offensive will be in New Hampshire's Supreme Court.

In a 7-to-4 vote, the District of Columbia school board has rejected Superintendent Floretta D. McKenzie's recommendation on school closings. Ms. McKenzie, however, who sought to close 14 schools at the end of this academic year in response to sharp declines in enrollment, has said that the issue is not resolved and is likely to be raised again before the end of the school year, according to a spokesman for the superintendent.

The next move, the spokesman said, will probably be a conference between the superintendent and the school-board president to work on possible solutions.

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