Rowan County

Rowan County Commissioners listen to a chaplain's prayer before a meeting in June 2017.
Rowan County

Lawyers for Rowan County on Thursday formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether it's legal for commissioners to lead prayer before their meetings.

Rowan County Commission Chair Greg Edds gave a lengthy argument for appealing the case.
Rowan County Commission

Rowan County Commissioners voted Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether they should be allowed to say Christian prayers before meetings. The 5-0 vote came at a special session that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

[Meanwhile, prayer returned at the start of the Charlotte City Council meeting last night. More below.]

A long-running tradition was missing from the beginning of last night’s Charlotte City Council meeting:  an opening prayer.  As the meeting started, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said:

"We are not going to have an invocation this evening. We are going to change the way that we conduct it, on the expert advice of our attorney, with the concern over freedom of religion and separation of church and state and some other recent court rulings."

Rowan County Commissioners listen to a chaplain's prayer before a meeting in June 2017.
Rowan County

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Rowan County’s practice of having elected officials open meetings with Christian prayer and asking residents to join is unconstitutional. That reverses a previous 2016 decision from the same circuit. 

Rowan County offices in Salisbury.
Rowan County

The First Amendment prohibits establishment of an official religion in the U.S.  When a government body steers too close to that, federal courts have stepped in to decide what's legal and what's not.  The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, now is considering a case from Rowan County, northeast of Charlotte. At issue is whether county commissioners should be allowed to lead Christian prayers before their meetings. WFAE's David Boraks has been following the case, and talked with All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse
Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court will decide whether it's legal for Rowan County's elected commissioners to lead Christian prayers at meetings. All 15 judges on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.

A federal appeals court is taking another look at a lawsuit challenging a North Carolina county commission's practice of opening meetings with Christian prayer led by commissioners.

The full 15-judge bench of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Rowan County prayer case on Wednesday.

A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., has agreed to re-hear a case on whether it's legal for Rowan County commissioners to deliver Christian prayers before their meetings. That invalidates a September ruling by a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the practice was constitutional.

A federal appeals court says it's legal for Rowan County Commissioners to deliver prayers before their meetings. The decision out Monday reverses a lower court ruling that declared the practice unconstitutional.

Rowan County

A series of social media posts deemed racist, offensive and politically partisan have cost the chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections his job. Malcolm Butner was sworn into the post in July. He was removed by the State Board of Elections on Thursday.

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