Southside Va. county ends 4-year fight over public prayers

pittsylvania countyDANVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors is ending its four-year battle to keep its tradition of opening its meetings with a prayer. A federal judge ruled the supervisor-led prayer was unconstitutional, and the board has decided to leave it at that. The Register and Bee ( ) reports that state Sen. Bill Stanley announced the decision Tuesday. He’s been representing the board. A county resident, Barbara Hudson, filed a lawsuit against the board over its practice in September 2011. She said the Christian invocations violate the Constitution’s prohibition against government establishment of a religion. During the legal back-and-forth, the board has had residents lead prayers during the board’s meetings.