Supreme Court to hear cases on town meeting prayers, patent infringement

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide cases concerning prayers at the start of town meetings and a patent dispute over heart monitors involving Medtronic Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp.

It also issued an important administrative law decision that said the Federal Communications Commission was entitled to deference in determining the scope of its own jurisdiction.

The case concerning prayers, came from Greece, a town near Rochester, N.Y. For more than a decade starting in 1999, the town board began its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month.”

Town officials said that members of all faiths and atheists were welcome. In practice, the federal appeals court in New York said, almost all of the chaplains were Christian.

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