Supreme Court Declines To Stop 'Spirit Of Satan' Lawsuit

December 2003
Church & State;Dec2003, Vol. 56 Issue 11, p3
An Iowa judge will now decide if the phrase "spirit of Satan" is basis for a slander suit after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in a dispute at a rural Iowa church. On October 20, 2003, the highest court in the U.S. rejected a petition by the United Methodist Church in Iowa to dismiss the case. That move sends the two-year-old case back to a judge in rural Butler County, Iowa, for trial. On its face, the case is a simple defamation suit, but church-state watchers say it could hold important precedent on how much a secular court can or should involve itself in internal church matters.


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