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Contempt order sought in Md. public prayer case

Wednesday - 4/2/2014, 1:29pm  ET

DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press

The American Humanist Association is asking a federal judge to hold the Carroll County Commissioners in contempt for violating his order barring them from opening meetings with sectarian prayers.

The Washington-based group said Wednesday it's asking the U.S. District Court in Baltimore to fine the county $30,000.

Commissioner Robin Frazier opened last Thursday's meeting with an overtly Christian prayer that defied a preliminary injunction in a First Amendment case filed by the association and four county residents.

Frazier said she was willing to go to jail for her beliefs but the plaintiffs didn't file a contempt motion until Tuesday. That's when an audience member prayed to Jesus Christ during a meeting's public comment period.

The association contends the county authorized the prayer.

An attorney for the county declined to comment.


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