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Federal judge orders hearing on commissioners prayers

CHATTANOOGA, TN. (Times Free Press) -- A federal judge has ordered a hearing to decide whether Hamilton County commissioners must temporarily halt prayers held during their meetings.

On Wednesday, Judge Harry S. Mattice ordered the parties to appear on July 26 at 9 a.m. to consider a motion for preliminary injunction sought on Sunday by plaintiffs Tommy Coleman and Brandon Jones.

Such an injunction requires much proof, and while temporary, stops the allegedly harmful action until a judge rules on the case.

Jones and Coleman earlier this month sued the commissioners and County Attorney Rheubin Taylor in the Eastern District of Tennessee. The residents argue that the body's prayers, which regularly invoke Jesus' name, are a First Amendment Establishment Clause violation. Taylor led such a prayer on June 6.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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