Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Should Dismiss Appeal in Pittsylvania City Council Prayer Case, says ACLU of Virginia

Richmond, VA – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia case of Hudson v. Pittsylvania County, in which a lower court agreed with the ACLU of Virginia that Pittsylvania County’s prayer practices are unconstitutional because they allow a government body to support one religion over others, is now at the Federal Court of Appeals. Though a U.S. Supreme Court case earlier this year upheld a town council’s opening prayers delivered by mostly Christian clergy, the ACLU of Virginia will argue that Pittsylvania County’s prayers are significantly different from those upheld by the Supreme Court. For example, the Pittsylvania County prayers were recited by government officials rather than by private citizens, and members of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors encouraged public participation in the prayer. The ACLU of Virginia will also argue that most of the County’s appeal should be dismissed because it was not filed on time.