County to appeal decision on prayer

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A county in southern Michigan says it will ask a full appeals court to consider a decision that halted a tradition of Christian-only prayers at public meetings.

Jackson County commissioners voted unanimously Friday to try to overturn the Feb. 15 decision by a three-judge panel at the appeals court. The county hopes the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will take the case, which would be a rare step.

The panel last week said Jackson County commissioners violated the U.S. Constitution by promoting one faith over others. Meetings typically began with Christian-only prayers offered by a commissioner.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot says the Texas-based First Liberty Institute has agreed to represent the county for free.