Prayer plaintiffs appeal local ruling to higher court

Prayer plaintiffs appeal local ruling to higher court

August 31st, 2012 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Brandon Jones, left, and Thomas Coleman, right, lead a rally on the second level of the Hamilton County Courthouse in this file photo.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

The two men suing Hamilton County over prayers held at commission meetings have appealed a local federal judge's ruling that prayers may continue while the case is litigated.

Attorney Robin Flores, representing plaintiffs Thomas Coleman III and Brandon Jones, filed notice of appeal Friday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The move is aimed at having the higher court review and rule whether U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice was correct to deny a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt the prayers while the case winds through the courts.

Coleman and Jones filed suit in June after commissioners refused their request to hold a moment of silence instead of prayers, according to Times Free Press archives. They claim in court documents that the prayers "in Jesus' name" violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.