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Federal judge dismisses suit by Madison group

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by an organization that includes atheists and agnostics over a Pennsylvania House resolution declaring 2012 the “Year of the Bible” but criticized the language endorsed by lawmakers as “proselytizing and exclusionary.”

U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner on Monday agreed with House Republicans that the suit filed by the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation should be dismissed on the grounds of legislative immunity.

But the judge suggested that the resolution approved in January was at worst “pandering designed to provide a re-election sound bite” and resources would be better used in “meaningful legislative efforts” to benefit all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says House GOP members expressed satisfaction with the decision, and a foundation leader said he was glad that the judge acknowledged injury to nonbelievers.

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