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Monday, August 18, 2014

Court Questions County Board Members' Practice of Leading Prayers at Meetings

Our friends at RLUIPA Defense have been following cases around the country post-Town of Greece v. Galloway - that is the U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld a town board's practice of inviting clergy to lead religious prayer before government meetings.  The most recent case comes out of Virginia, Hudson v. Pittsylvania County, Virginia, (WD VA, Aug. 4, 2014).  This case involved a challenge to county board members' practice of  opening meetings with prayers.  The Hudson court distinguished Town of Greece because the county board members not only chose but also led the prayers at each meeting. Even more troubling to the court is that the county board members often directed the assembled citizens to participate in the prayers by asking them to stand. The court determined that the county “involved itself ‘in religious matters to a far greater degree’ than was the case in Town of Greece.”  The court refused to lift an injunction against the practice.

You can read more about the case here.


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