County Commission Opening Prayers To Continue - For Now - Under Judge Mattice Order Denying Preliminary Injunction

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice, in a 37-page ruling released Wednesday morning, denied a motion for a preliminary injunction blocking opening prayers at the Hamilton County Commission meetings.

Judge Mattice set an Oct. 2 hearing in which to schedule trial of the case on its merits.

He said in the ruling the County Commission had several options on the prayer issue and "The Commission has chosen the fourth of these four options, and it is entirely within its rights to do so. However, in so choosing, it has assumed – on its own behalf and on behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of Hamilton County – the responsibility of ensuring that its policy is implemented in a manner that respects both the rights of its citizens and the commands of the First Amendment. Whether it will actually effect its policy in such a fashion has yet to be seen."

Tommy Coleman and Brandon Jones had sued the county to try to stop the prayers, saying they promoted the Christian religion.

The commission afterward adopted a policy of rotating area ministers on a first come-first serve basis for the prayers.

Judge Mattice said, "This case presents a unique question, the legal underpinnings of which the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has yet to address."

He said, "The Court cannot say that Hamilton County’s prayer policy, on its face, violates the Establishment Clause. It appears to the Court that, at least as written, the policy strives for neutrality. The policy specifically states it is not intended to “proselytize or advance any particular faith, or show any purposeful preference of one religious view to the exclusion of others."

Here is the full opinion

http://www.tned.uscourts.gov/docs/112cv190.pdf


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLGOOD, KEVIN DEWAYNE     2001 E 12TH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404     31     Hamilton County          FAILURE TO APPEAR BELL, MARCUS LAJUAN     2418 KIRBY AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404     31     Hamilton ... (click for more)

Knoxville Couple Injured In Motorcycle Accident In Cleveland Early Saturday Morning

Two people were injured early Saturday in a motorcycle accident in Cleveland. At 5:58 a.m a motorcycle operated by an individual identified as Dale Dockery, 48, of Knoxville, struck the concrete barrier on I-75 at the exit 20 off ramp. Mr. Dockery was headed southbound toward Chattanooga. He and his wife Karen, 48, were transported by Bradley County EMS to Erlanger. ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: O’Reilly’s Rant On Race

I don’t really care whether you like Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly but I strongly believe I must share an urgent transcript with you of what he said earlier this week. It’s been talked about on every network and it speaks boldly to the very heart of an American epidemic. Last weekend in Chicago 47 people were shot and five of them died. Black-on-black shootings have gotten ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Crushes Sacramento Gold 4-1; Advances To National Championship Game

Not only did they win, they won big.  The Chattanooga Football Club becomes the first team in NPSL history to play in three national championships.  CFC scored four unanswered goals Saturday to beat visiting Sacramento Gold 4-1.   Sacramento scored on a long shot by Jason Jones in the 13th minute to take a 1-0 lead.   Chattanooga would answer with two goals ... (click for more)

Stars Sink Lookouts Sunday, 8-4

Huntsville, AL --- The Huntsville Stars erased a 4-1 deficit late in the game Sunday and scored a combined seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to comeback and defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts 8-4 at Joe Davis Stadium.  With the win, the Stars ended their season long five game losing streak. Recap Chattanooga starter Nick Struck who dominated the Stars over ... (click for more)