March 1, 2008
It?s been a good year or so since I have written a column pertaining to someone who was arrested and then tried to invoke his 5th Amendment right to remain silent. I?m sure you are all familiar with this from television, commonly known as one?s Miranda rights. I always advise my clients that if they are ever arrested, there is a reason they are given this right to remain silent, and they should exercise this right. In columns in which I have addressed this issue in the past, the story generally involves someone trying to invoke his or her 5th Amendment right to remain silent, and the question becomes whether the invocation of the right was clear enough to ward off further police questioning or whether some ambiguity in the request for 5th Amendment protection allowed the police officers to keep on questioning the individual.
November 6, 2002
Ryan Carter Those close to Jewish activist Irv Rubin in his legal battles with the city of Burbank were praying for him Tuesday. With Rosemead resident Roberto Gandara, Rubin brought a lawsuit against Burbank that led to the prohibition of the name "Jesus Christ" and other references to religious deities in legislative chambers across the state. He was reportedly on life support Tuesday at County-USC Medical Center after an apparent suicide attempt early Monday.
October 5, 2002
Mel Wolf's complicated treatise (Sept. 18) on the invocation at City Council meetings basically says we should pursue the issue to a higher court, hopefully overruling the lower court decision not allowing the name of a specific deity in City Council invocations. What about the atheist or agnostic in our society who doesn't share the supposed religious beliefs of a community? And I emphasize supposed, because I believe most people hold their religious beliefs quite loosely.
October 2, 2002
GAINS FEDERAL SCREENERS DESERVE OUR SUPPORT Federal security screeners started Tuesday at the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, becoming the first such workers in Southern California. While questions have been raised as to whether the change from contracted to federal employees will make much of a difference, these workers should be commended for standing up during a time when many people are at a loss as to what they can do personally to restore this nation's sense of security.
September 14, 2002
Ryan Carter Clergy here are beginning to wonder if invocations in the name of Jesus Christ, Allah or any other deity at the start of City Council meetings will continue. Monday's state appeals court decision upholding a ban on specific references to a deity in prayers that open City Council meetings only reinforced what many local clergy feel is an injunction on their free speech rights. The court validated a November 2000 Los Angeles Superior Court judge's ruling that prohibits sectarian prayers.
January 5, 2002
I wish the City Council and Board of Education had the moxie of the Burbank Leader editorials regarding two issues. The first is the Burroughs High School mascot issue, and the second is the use of the name Jesus in City Council invocations. Except for the courage of Trish Burnett, the Board of Education has taken a wishy-washy attitude regarding the mascot issue by basically ignoring it. A student committee was set up to study it ad infinitum. The board refuses to take a stand because it didn't get strong feedback from the voters.
November 24, 2001
Ryan Carter BURBANK -- A battalion of 34 California municipalities has come out in defense of the city of Burbank's use of religious invocations that refer to Jesus Christ at the beginning of City Council meetings. In a brief filed Tuesday, attorneys representing the 34 cities, including Glendale, asked the state Court of Appeal to overturn a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling that prayers at the beginning of Burbank City Council meetings are unconstitutional if they mention Jesus.
January 17, 2001
Whether the Constitution guarantees that each citizen has the freedom of religion or the freedom from religion, the Burbank City Council has shown that it is not afraid to test the waters where the secular meets the sacred. What prompted this test? Irv Rubin -- a resident of the west San Fernando Valley -- attended a City Council meeting in November 1999, when a Mormon pastor prayed to Christ during an invocation prior to the meeting. Miffed at the mention of Christ, Rubin -- chairman of the Jewish Defense League -- filed a 1st Amendment lawsuit the next month against Burbank to stop the city from continuing its practice of prayer before City Council meetings.
December 30, 2000
Will Rogers Every year at this time, I give readers a case of the Willys. I don't mean the feeling that comes from knowing my annual holiday poem is imminent. These are the Willy Awards. I hope you've booked a baby sitter and confirmed the limo, because it's time for the most anticipated awards of the year. OK, maybe not the MOST anticipated. Maybe they're the awards you always forget until they're here. But they're here, and there's nothing you can do to stop them.
December 6, 2000
I think the only logical answer to the City Council's invocation problem is don't have one! Drop the whole thing. If council members feel they are unable to conduct the city's business wisely and fairly without praying about it first, they can say their prayers in the privacy of their offices or homes. Or we could try to be all-inclusive -- face Mecca while praying, burn incense, have Hindu and Buddhist rituals, call in a Wiccan priestess, even call in an astrologer, or sacrifice a chicken and read the omens in its entrails.