Supreme Court ruling on public prayer has implications for Carroll County case

WESTMINSTER, Md. - The Carroll County Commissioners are studying a Supreme Court ruling on public prayer that could affect their disputed practice of opening their board meetings with prayers that sometimes reference Jesus Christ.

A narrowly divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that the prayers that open town council meetings in Greece, New York, do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity.

Carroll County has said that such a decision would likely kill a federal lawsuit alleging that Christian prayers at Carroll County board meetings violate the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.

One difference is that the prayers in the New York town are delivered by local pastors; the prayers in Carroll County are said by the five commissioners on a rotating basis.

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