Rowan County commissioners to vote on prayer lawsuit

SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) — Rowan County commissioners plan to decide whether to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that their prayer before meetings is unconstitutional.

The Salisbury Post reported the commissioners met behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss their plans. When they emerged, chairman Greg Edds said the panel will vote Monday.

Rowan County’s prayer practices from 2007 to 2013 were declared unconstitutional in May. Among the issues Judge James Beaty cited was the practice of commissioners exclusively providing the opening invocation and asking attendees to stand and pray without offering an option to leave.

Since the decision, commissioners have asked the sheriff’s office chaplain to lead the prayer. His two prayers so far have been nearly identical to previous ones.

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