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Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (doc. #: 04-1084)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal
Argument Date 11/01/2005
Decided 2/21/2006
Supreme Court Vote 8-0
Supreme Court Ruling Religious claim sustained under Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
IssueWhether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 requires the government to permit the importation, distribution, possession, and use of a Schedule I hallucinogenic controlled substance, where Congress has found that the substance has a high potential for abuse, it is unsafe for use even under medical supervision, and its importation and distribution would violate an international treaty.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Roberts, C.J.
Certiorari Granted 04/18/2005
Lower Court 10th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Religious claim sustained under Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
For Petitioner
Paul Clement (Solicitor General)

For Respondent
Nancy Hollander

For Petitioner

Paul D. Clement, Certiorari Petition (Solicitor General)

Paul D. Clement, Reply Brief (Solicitor General)

For Respondent
Brief for Respondents

Brief in opposition to granting Certiorari

Motion to Strike Improper Portions of the Government's Brief

Reply brief in support of its motion to strike

For Amicus
Anthony R. Picarello on behalf of Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (supporting Respondents)

David T. Goldberg on behalf of Council on Spiritual Practices, et al (supporting Respondents)

Douglas Laycock (supporting Respondents)

Gene C. Schaerr, on behlaf of Baptist Joint Committee, The National Association of Evangelicals, et al (supporting Respondents)

Kelly Shackelford on behalf of the Liberty Legal Institute (supporting Respondents)

Lee Boothby on behalf of International Academy for Freedom of Religion & Belief (supporting Respondents)

Mark Chopko on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (supporting Respondents)

Peter D. Kennedy on behalf of Robert Gable, Ph.D., et al (supporting Respondents)

Roy S. Haber on behalf of John H. Halpern, et al (supporting Respondents)

Tony Mauro Analysis
"Religious liberty gets boost in hallucinogenic tea case" (2/22/06)

"Justices take issue with ban of religious tea" (11-02-05)

Opinion - Lower Court
For Petitioner
O Centro Espirita v. Ashcroft (10th Cir., 2004, en banc)

AP, "High court backs church in dispute over hallucinogenic tea" (2/21/06)

AP, "Justices to consider church's use of hallucinogenic tea" (04-18-2005)

Lucas, Marya "High Court Asked to End Religious Teatime," Legal Times, April 14, 2005

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