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County will ask Supreme Court to review prayer ruling

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WASHINGTON (AP) -

A North Carolina county will ask the Supreme Court to review a ruling barring it from opening its meetings with Christian prayers.

The First Liberty Institute, representing the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, filed papers Thursday with the high court asking it to consider the case.

In July, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled 10-5 against the county. The judges said that while prayer itself is not unconstitutional, the commissioners' practice of leading the prayers themselves and inviting the audience to join, always in the Christian faith, violated the First Amendment by establishing Christianity as a preferred religion.

The Richmond court's ruling is at odds with the 6th Circuit in Detroit, which found in September that such prayers are constitutional in a case out of Michigan.

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