In August of 2005, the ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit on behalf of five Cobb County residents who objected to the prayers given at Cobb County Commission & Planning Commission meetings because the vast majority of prayers included references to a specific religious denomination: most prayers were made in the name of Jesus. They sought a preliminary ruling that would have allowed the prayers to continue but halted the use of references to any specific religious denomination.

On Friday, January 13, 2006, Judge Story denied the motion for preliminary injunction, though he recognized that the ruling was in tension with the majority of courts that have ruled on the issue. The case proceeded through litigation, and the district court found that prayers that frequently included references to Jesus were constitutional, but the process the Planning Commission utilized for choosing who would lead the prayers, was unconstitutional (some faith groups were totally barred from the prayer giver invitation list). This ruling was appealed, but on October 28th, 2008, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the district court's finding.

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