Notable Items:

Compare United States v. O'Brien: These cases [Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U. S. 233 (1936), and Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U. S. 339 (1960)] stand not for the proposition that legislative motive is a proper basis for declaring a statute unconstitutional, but that the inevitable effect of a statute on its face may render it unconstitutional.
Venue: Supreme Court of the United States
Opinion of the Court: Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993)

Issue(s) Before the Court:

Are four specific ordinances (87-40, 87-52, 87-71, and 87-72) enacted by the city council of Hialeah Florida in accord with the Free Exercise Clause?

Petitioner's Claim(s):

... alleging violations of their rights under, inter alia, the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
... the complaint sought a declaratory judgment and injunctive and monetary relief.

Respondent's Claim(s):

... compelling governmental interests in preventing public health risks and cruelty to animals fully justified the absolute prohibition on ritual sacrifice accomplished by the ordinances, and that an exception to that prohibition for religious conduct would unduly interfere with fulfillment of the governmental interest because any more narrow restrictions would be unenforceable as a result of the Santeria religion's secret nature.

Holding(s) and Disposition:

Held: No.
Disposition: The judgment is reversed. 936 F.2d 586, reversed.

Material Facts:

Procedural History:


Majority Opinion (Kennedy, Rehnquist, White, Blackmun, Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, Souter, Thomas)

Scalia concur in part, concur in judgement (Rehnquist)

Souter concur in part, concur in judgement

Blackmun concurrance

Full Recounting of Facts

Majority Full Argument