Carr enters legal battle over pre-meeting prayers

[private]Georgia’s top legal officer is joining a federal court lawsuit involving a government body that offers up Christian prayers — but only Christian prayers — before it holds meetings.

Attorney General Chris Carr said he is filing a “friend of the court” brief in support of the Jackson County (Michigan) Board of Commissioners, a case that is currently before the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

“The tradition of legislative prayer dates back to our country’s founding,” Carr said. “The amicus brief shows that lawmaker-led prayer, at both the state and local level, has been an integral part of that longstanding tradition, and we have a strong interest in preserving this form of liberty.”

The Jackson County board had a practice of opening its public meetings with an invocation delivered by one of the nine commissioners. All of the commissioners profess to be Christian and they only delivered Christian prayers.

That practice was challenged in a federal lawsuit filed by Peter Bormuth, who argued that the practice violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. A panel of three judges from the 6th Circuit ruled in February that the board’s exclusively Christian prayers violated the First Amendment.

The commissioners are now trying to get their appeal before the full circuit court. Georgia, through Carr, has now become one of 20 states that have filed briefs in support of the commissioners.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Chris Carr , federal court case , public prayer