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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 28Jan02
By Kent Larsen
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Burbank Prayer Lawsuit Appeal Pending

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA -- The appeal of a ruling that called LDS bishop David King's Burbank City Council prayer unconstitutional is awaiting a hearing date before the 2nd District Court of Appeals, and constitutional scholars disagree over whether or not the ruling will be overturned. The case, arising after activist Irv Rubin objected to King's use of the words "Jesus Christ," hinges on the interpretation of a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court case, Marsh vs. Chambers, and whether the court meant that prayers before legislatures had to be nondenominational or not.

The city of Burbank says the issue is over free speech, Mayor Bob Kramer says, "When a minister or a rabbi comes to a meeting, is it our job to tell them how to pray?" But USC law professor Erwin Chemerinsky says Burbank seems to really want one type of prayer, "Burbank seems to be litigating over its ability to say a Christian prayer. If there is prayer, I think it's important that it be secular prayer."

While issues in the case are clear from a legal standpoint, the public perception of the case is clouded by Rubin's arrest in an alleged plot to bomb a Culver City mosque and bomb an Arab-American congressman's office.


Rubin Eyeing Developments in Prayer Case
Los Angeles Times 22Jan02 US CA LA T2
By Kristina Sauerwein and Jean Guccione: Times Staff Writers
Burbank: A legal fight began after the suspect in a bomb plot heard a Christian invocation preceding a 1999 City Council meeting.


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