McLEAN, Va. (AP) — The Trump administration is forming an unusual alliance with the American Civil Liberties Union in rural Virginia, where both accuse a local government of discriminating against Muslims.
A federal judge in Charlottesville is scheduled to hear pretrial arguments Wednesday in the lawsuit against Culpeper County, about 70 miles southwest of the nation's capital.
The county's board of supervisors voted last year to deny a sewage permit to the Islamic center of Culpeper, which needs it to build a new mosque. The county says its decision was based on land-use issues. The lawsuit alleges that anti-Muslim bias fueled the rejection.
The religious discrimination lawsuit was initiated in December by the Obama administration, and the Justice Department under Trump has indicated it plans to move ahead with it.