Case Name: Lund et al. v. Rowan County

The ACLU of North Carolina and national ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief successfully represented three Rowan County residents in a challenge to their county commissioners’ practice of opening meetings by coercing the public to join them in prayers that overwhelmingly advance beliefs specific to one religion.

In May 2015, a federal district court ruled the practice unconstitutional and ordered the commissioners to cease opening their meetings with coercive, sectarian prayer. On July 14, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled 10-5 that Rowan County's practices violated the First Amendment to the Constitution, upholding the lower court ruling.

Update: On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case, ensuring that the lower court victory will stand.


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit