• 61°

Members of Congress file brief in support of Rowan’s prayer practices

Eighteen members of Congress, including Republicans and Democrats, are lining up to support Rowan County commissioners’ prayer practices.

The group on Monday filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking to reverse a lower court’s ruling that declared Rowan’s prayer practices unconstitutional.

The Town of Greece v. Galloway ruling in 2014 – permitting volunteer chaplains to open each legislative session with a prayer — is cited and frequently compared in the brief to an April ruling by North Carolina’s Middle District Court.

Among other things, the brief argues Rowan County’s prayer practices are constitutional.

“The court determined that the fact that the prayers in Rowan County were delivered by members of the Board of Commissioners rendered them unconstitutional,” the brief states about a ruling in U.S. District Court. “This focus on the identity of the prayer-giver contravenes both history and Fourth Circuit precedent.”

Amicus briefs are common in federal trials and act as statements of support.

Members of Congress from North Carolina who supported the brief include: Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC; Rep. Alma Adams, D-12; Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5; Rep. George Holding, R-13; Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8; Rep. Walter Jones, R-3; Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-10; Rep. Mark Meadows, R-11; Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-9; Rep. David Rouzer, R-7; and Rep. Mark Walker, R-6.

Democrat and former Rep. Mike McIntyre also supported the brief. McIntyre represented North Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District during his time in Congress.

Speaking about his support for Rowan County’s prayer practices, Hudson said: “Prayer has long been an integral part of American government at all levels, uniting us all across diverse backgrounds, party lines and seemingly impossible odds. As a defender of our constitutional rights, I will continue to do all that I can to protect religious liberty and stand up for our right to pray.”

Hudson led the effort to file the amicus brief.

Members of Congress from other states who supported the brief included: Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan, SC-3; Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes, VA-4; Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, VA-6; Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-4; Republican Rep. Andy Harris, MD-1; and Sen. James Lankford, R-OK.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.



Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?


Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline


Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget


Botter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle


CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science


Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies


With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions


Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration


Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline


Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance


Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list


Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May


Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards


Cheerleading team competes at Disney


Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team


Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest


‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer


Public Records: March Deeds


Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31


Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine


Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings


Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service


New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1