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North Carolina Prayer Before Meeting Unconstitutional, Court Rules

Image: North Carolina Prayer Before Meeting Unconstitutional, Court Rules
Prayer before commissioners' meetings in North Carolina is unconstitutional, a court ruled. (Jakub Krechowicz/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 14 Jul 2017 03:40 PM

North Carolina commissioners’ practice of saying a prayer before meetings and inviting others to pray has been ruled a violation of the Constitution.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that the Rowan County commissioners were “unconstitutionally coercive” in their prayer practices, The Associated Press reported. The case is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which already ruled recently that it was legal for predominantly Christian prayers to be offered by clergy at town meetings in New York.

The court stressed it wasn’t the prayers themselves that were unconstitutional, but the message that they preferred one religion above all others by including mainly Christian prayers and invoking only that one faith, the AP reported.

The ACLU brought the original lawsuit on behalf of residents who said they felt left out by the prayers. The court agreed 10-5 with the lower court ruling on the case.

“This ruling is a great victory for the rights of all residents to participate in their local government without fearing discrimination or being forced to join in prayers that go against their beliefs,” ACLU North Carolina Legal Director Chris Brook said in a statement, Fox News reported.

Some Twitter users heralded the ruling while others decried it.

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North Carolina commissioners' practice of saying a prayer before meetings and inviting others to pray has been ruled a violation of the Constitution.
north carolina, prayer, before, meeting
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2017-40-14
Friday, 14 Jul 2017 03:40 PM
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