MURFREESBORO – Chancellor Robert Corlew recused himself today from hearing a group’s request that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro not be allowed to have a cemetery on its property.
Corlew made the decision after ICM attorney John Green asked that he remove himself from the case after state and federal courts reversed him on other rulings he made connected to the ICM’s location on Veals Lane off Bradyville Pike.
In asking Corlew to recuse himself, Green said the chancellor’s previous decisions related to the ICM “resulted in great cost” to the county government and that he permitted, and encouraged, evidence on “extraneous” issues such as whether Islam is a religion.
Green questioned whether the chancellor could be impartial and unbiased in hearing the case related to the ICM and noted that previous court procedures “garnered regional, national and international notoriety.”
Corlew was to hear a petition by residents seeking to turn back a decision by the Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals, which voted in January to allow the ICM to have a cemetery.
Duncan Cave, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he wants to have the case heard, no matter which judge handles the matter.