Appeals court upholds Rowan County commissioners’ prayer | The Charlotte Observer

Rowan County commissioners again can open their meetings with prayer – at least for now.A divided panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision by a Greensboro federal judge and ruled that the mostly Christian invocation county leaders used to open their sessions did not violate the separation of church and state.In the 2-1 decision, 4th Circuit judges Steven Agee of Virginia and Dennis Shedd of Columbia, S.C., cited a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case involving the town of Greece, N.Y., that upheld prayer at public meetings.The lower court judge, U.S. District Judge James Beaty of Greensboro, ruled in May 2015 that the Rowan County case differed because the commissioners themselves, not visiting ministers or audience members, were giving the prayers. Some 97 percent of the time between 2007 and 2013, those prayers were Christian.

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Categories: Religion

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