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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Apr 22, 2019

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had the last word in our case of Chabad of Irvine, a small Orthodox Jewish congregation in California that has been fighting for their free exercise rights for years. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


We’ve covered practice of Kaporos on this program before.  If you’ve forgotten, Kaporos is a sacred religious ceremony performed by Orthodox Jewish congregations for several millennia.  In the ceremony, which takes place during the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, the atonement of sins is contemplated through prayer and the kosher and humane killing of a chicken.

But, as we’ve discussed previously, animal rights activists in California sued to force government officials to prohibit the ceremony.  First Liberty network attorneys argued that it is not the role of the government to tell religious communities how to peacefully exercise their religious beliefs.

In fact, over the last few years, First Liberty and network attorneys successfully defended the Chabad of Irvine, a small synagogue in Orange County, California, against two lawsuits brought by activists opposed to kaporos.  But, of course, the animal rights activists appealed the dismissal of one lawsuit to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9thCircuit.

Well, about a week after oral argument, the Ninth Circuit came out with its decision.  It’s conclusion?  That the animal rights groups didn’t even have the legal ability to bring the lawsuit in the first place. 

While it was decided on procedural grounds, the court’s decision brings a resounding conclusion to several years of harassment by lawsuit of a peaceful religious practice.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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