Press Releases

Hearing Will Decide If Case Against Wood County Commissioners' Court Has A Prayer


Liberty Institute Asks Judge to Dismiss Case Challenging Wood County's Right to Open Sessions in Prayer and to Display National Motto "In God We Trust"

QUITMAN, Texas, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Liberty Institute:

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A summary judgment hearing should end a frivolous lawsuit against the Wood County Commissioners' Court for opening its sessions in prayer and for displaying in its courtroom America's national motto "In God We Trust." A state district court judge will decide whether to grant summary judgment, which would result in the dismissal of the case.

Liberty Institute General Counsel Jeff Mateer and local attorney Bryan Hughes, on behalf of their client, the Wood County Commissioners' Court, will request that the judge grant Wood County summary judgment, dismissing the case. Charles F. Scott, the resident who brought the lawsuit alleging the County Commissioners Court is in violation of the U.S constitution, will also be present to argue why his suit should move forward.

Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 9 AM CT

Wood County Courthouse, 100 S. Main St. (Intersection of SH 154 and SH 37)
Quitman, Texas 75783

Charles Scott, a resident of Wood County, brought the lawsuit claiming that the Wood County Commissioners Court's display of the national motto "In God We Trust" in its courtroom and the beginning of their meetings with a public invocation violate the First Amendment. 

The County has moved for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the lawsuit citing U. S. Supreme Court and other legal precedents, which hold that displaying the national motto and using invocations before legislative meetings are constitutional. 

Established by law as the national motto in 1956, the inscription of "In God We Trust" can be found in the U.S. and Texas Houses of Representatives and many other courtrooms and council halls across the nation.

In the 1983 case of Marsh v. Chambers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayers is constitutional.

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit


SOURCE Liberty Institute