Appeals court rules against Wiccan in Virginia prayer lawsuit

RICHMOND, Va. A federal appeals court has ruled against a priestess of the Wiccan faith who argued that she should be eligible to give the opening prayer when a local board of supervisors meets.

Cynthia Simpson sued Chesterfield County after she was excluded from a list of religious leaders allowed to pray at Board of Supervisors meetings. The county sent a letter to Simpson explaining that the invocations … quote … “are traditionally made to a divinity that is consistent with the Judeo-Christian tradition.”

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a lower court’s decision ruling in Simpson’s favor.

The appeals court wrote that Chesterfield County has done a good job of including leaders from a variety of religions to offer opening prayers.

Simpson says she plans to request a full-court review of the decision.


Chesterfield County Attorney Steven Micas says the court got the ruling right.

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Associated Press, via WAVY.com, USA
Apr. 14, 2005
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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016