TheWinston-Salem Journal reports:

A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is violating the U.S. Constitution by allowing sectarian prayers before board meetings.

Now the commissioners must decide whether to appeal.

Judge James A. Beaty Jr. of U.S. District Court ordered the county to stop having prayers under its current policy, which allows clergy to pray in any manner before board meetings on a first-come, first-served basis. Since the policy was set in March 2007 most prayers have made reference to Jesus.

Next up —U.S. Court of Appeals, should commissioners decide to appeal.