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Roughly Speaking: Newsroom Edition, episode 26:
In Carroll County, a years-old lawsuit that sought to bar the county’s commissioners from leading prayers at their meetings came to a dramatic close this month.
Originally filed by two Carroll County citizens in 2013, the lawsuit argued that the “sectarian” prayers led by the 59th Board of Commissions were unconstitutional. A judge signed a consent decree Sept. 10 after the board voted to settle, awarding $125,000 to the plaintiffs’ lawyers and effectively ending the practice at commissioners’ meetings.
Now, while some commissioners appear eager to move on from the public dispute and avoid spending additional taxpayer dollars on potential legal fees, many residents seem reluctant to make peace with the decision, staging protests and writing opinion pieces citing their disappointment with the outcome, which they suggest degrades the freedoms of religion and speech.
Speakers (in order of appearance): Cathey Allison, Melissa Bowman, Nathan Mateer, Jennifer Mateer, William Sam Stansbury, Commissioner Eric Bouchat
Hear more public comment here (scroll to section XII)