Fighting a lawsuit over its use of Christian prayers in public meetings, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors is taking aim at the lawyer who brought the suit.
The board has asked a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit filed by Barbara Hudson because – the board claims – Hudson is not sincere when she claims to be offended by the prayers.
Both Hudson and the county board filed motions for summary judgment Thursday. The board, represented by Sen. William M. Stanley Jr., focused exclusively on Hudson and her motives for bringing the public prayer lawsuit.
“This case is not about Hudson suffering an injury and/or being personally affronted by the Board’s invocation at the opening of its meetings; rather it is just a continuation of her systematic pattern of confrontation with the Board because she has utter contempt for the body itself,” Stanley wrote on behalf of the supervisors.
Stanley noted Hudson has regularly attended Pittsylvania County board meetings and frequently challenged board actions in court and in newspapers. Stanley raised questions about Hudson’s credibility, noting she was held in contempt of court on one occasion in 1994 and was sanctioned in an earlier lawsuit against the county government.
For her part, Hudson contends the board’s use of pastors to deliver Christian prayers at its meetings continues to run afoul of the First Amendment.
Additional briefs are expected before a ruling from U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski.