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Appeals court upholds prayer at meetings

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ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a suburban Atlanta county's practice of allowing clergy to open meetings with Christian prayers. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 2-1 ruling Tuesday allows Cobb County officials to open meetings of its Board of Commissioners and planning commission with the prayers. Cobb County officials said clergy from all faiths are allowed to participate, but lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union contended the invocations are "overtly Christian" and they send a message that the county backs the faith.