US judge blocks prayer at Brevard County Commission meetings

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 6:21 PM EST

A federal judge says Brevard County cannot open its commission meetings with prayers.

  • Brevard County refused to include non-religious people in invocation rotation
  • Humanist, freethought groups sued the county
  • Judge says decision violated the Constitution

The Central Florida Freethought Community, the Humanist Community of the Space Coast and the Space Coast Freethought Association sued the county in 2015 after commissioners refused to include atheists, agnostics and other non-religious people in a rotation of clergy members delivering opening invocations.

U.S. District Judge John Antoon II agreed, saying the move violated both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution.

Brevard County commissioners voted unanimously to appeal the ruling. For the time being, they are opening meetings with a moment of silence instead.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.