October 31, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court says members of a Southern California city council can open their meetings with a prayer.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on Tuesday that the Lancaster City Council's invocation policy is constitutional because it allows for the opening prayer to be said by any faith or religion. The prayer is said by a volunteer cleric of any faith who submits an application to the city clerk.
Lancaster is a desert city in northern Los Angeles County.
The lawsuit was filed by Shelley Rubin and Maureen Feller.
Rubin is the widow of late Jewish Defense League head Irv Rubin. Feller is a Lancaster resident who claimed the invocations violated the constitutional separation of church and state.