Federal judge sets hearing in prayer dispute

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal judge in Chattanooga has ordered a hearing on a motion to stop the Hamilton County Commission from beginning meetings with a prayer.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, U.S. District Court Judge Sandy Mattice on Wednesday set the hearing for July 26.

Plaintiffs Tommy Coleman and Brandon Jones have asked for a restraining order to prevent the prayers which they contend violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Coleman and Jones filed suit earlier this month, seeking to halt the practice.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said earlier he could not comment on the lawsuit because he is named as a defendant and the county will hire another attorney to defend against the suit.

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