California Court: Prayer can't invoke Jesus Christ
LOS ANGELES â€” A state appeals court yesterday upheld a lower court ruling that the suburban Burbank City Council may not begin meetings with sectarian prayers such as one that invoked the name Jesus Christ and triggered a lawsuit.
A three-judge panel of the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with the ruling by Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Williams III, who ordered Burbank to advise anyone conducting a prayer as part of a council meeting that it may not be sectarian.
The City Council in Burbank, a suburb of about 200,000 people in the San Fernando Valley, has begun its meetings with an invocation by a member of a nondenominational ministerial association since 1953.
The court sided with jailed Jewish Defense League chairman Irv Rubin, who protested more than two years ago against prayers at council meetings.