Judge Rules Against ACLU In Georgia Prayer Case

| Fri Sep. 8, 2006 7:35 PM EDT

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story has ruled that prayers that refer to Jesus Christ do not violate the U.S. Constitution and may continue to be offered at the Cobb County, Georgia county commission meetings.

Judge Story did affirm that repeated sectarian prayers given at meetings do violate the Constitution, but that such a violation did not occur with the Cobb County commission meetings. The plaintiffs in the case, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit a year ago because they believed that the council's prayer selection process showed a preference of one religion over the other. Judge Story said that it did not, but he also ruled that the selection of the Cobb County planning commission in 2003 and 2004. In January, Judge Story ruled against the plaintiffs' bid for a preliminary injunction to halt the prayers.

The ACLU also filed suit last year to force Cobb County schools to remove warning labels from science books that advised that evolution is a theory, not a fact. A U.S. District judge then ordered the county to pay the ACLU's attorney's fees.