Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fed. Judge OKs Prayer at Calif. City Council

U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer has ruled that officials of the Los Angeles County city of Lancaster have the right to pray to Jesus at meetings.

For background, read ACLU Sues to Stop Voters' Prayer

UPDATE 3/27/13: 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Fischer Ruling

-- From "Judge: Lancaster officials can pray at meetings" by The Associated Press 7/12/11

Mayor R. Rex Parris said Tuesday that the city takes pride in defending the rights of citizens to pray.

The suit was brought by Shelley Rubin, the widow of late Jewish Defense League head Irv Rubin, and Maureen Feller, a Christian resident who claimed the invocations violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge upholds Lancaster's policy on prayer before meetings" by Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times 7/12/11

According to information released by the city Tuesday, the judgment allows Lancaster to continue its invocation policy, which has been in place since August 2009.

“Lancaster takes immense pride in winning this case and defending the fundamental right to pray, not only for our citizens, but indeed for all people across this nation,” Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement.

Lancaster’s invocation policy calls for randomly selecting clergy from different faiths to deliver the invocation at council meetings, without restricting the content based on their beliefs.

The city, which is home to Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians of various denominations, responded by putting the policy to a vote of residents during the April 2010 municipal election. The measure passed more than 3 to 1, according to statistics provided by the city.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Lancaster prayer ruling appeal planned" by Rebecca Kheel, Staff Writer, Daily News (Los Angeles) 7/13/11

Opponents of Lancaster's voter-approved law allowing sectarian prayer at public meetings vowed Wednesday to appeal a district court ruling that upholds the controversial policy.

In her ruling, District Judge Dale Fischer said the plaintiffs "have failed to establish that the Policy has been used for an improper purpose or is otherwise unconstitutional."

The judge also noted that Lancaster's law does not promote any specific religion or discriminate against any other.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.