published Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Decision expected tomorrow in Hamilton County prayer case

An order will likely be released Wednesday on a motion for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against Hamilton County alleging prayers during commission meeting violate the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice plans to release his decision on the motion around 9 a.m. Wednesday, officials from the court confirmed today. The motion seeks to halt the prayers until Mattice can rule on the merits of the underlying suit.

In a July 26 hearing, Mattice told both sides they had until Aug. 8 to file any additional briefs to support their case before he would decide whether to grant a temporary injunction to halt the prayers while he makes a final ruling on the case.

In June, Coleman and Jones filed a suit in federal court arguing that Christian prayers held during County Commission meetings violate the First Amendment's establishment clause.

After commissioners continued inviting pastors to hold Christian prayers, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction.

A full archive of the prayer issue is available at: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jul/26/public-prayer-hamilton-county-commission/?chattagov

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