County wins court challenge over prayers

DETROIT (AP) — A federal court is backing Jackson County in a dispute over Christian prayers at public meetings.

The appellate court says the practice of Jackson County commissioners offering Christian-only prayers doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution. The court says commissioners just happen to be Christian and aren't promoting one faith over others.

The case was heard by the entire 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court upheld the opinion of a Detroit federal judge in a 9-6 decision Wednesday.

A local resident, Peter Bormuth, sued, saying he felt compelled to participate in religion just to speak at meetings.

It's possible that the dispute may go to the U.S. Supreme Court. A different appeals court said Rowan County, North Carolina, officials violated the Constitution with Christian prayers.

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