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In District Court

Five days of arguments in the legal challenge to New Jersey's "moment-of-silence" law were expected to conclude early this week in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the New Jersey state legislature to block the law passed last December, contends the intent of the law was "reintroducing prayer into the public schools" and that it was thus unconstitutional.

Lawyers for the legislature argued that the measure--which requires schools to "permit students to observe a one-minute period of silence to be used soley at the discretion of the individual student"--is legal because it makes no mention of prayer.

The legislature overrode a veto by Gov. Thomas H. Kean to pass the law.--ce

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