An Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Lukumi Babalu Aye v. Hialeah and How the Case Fits into the Interpretation of the Practice Clause of the First Amendment Freedom of Religion Guarantee

Topic Description

Practitioners of the Yoba religion, also known as Santeria, sacrifice animals, including fowls, goats and turtles as part of their rituals, after which the sacrificed animals are consumed as food. Hialeah, Fla., officials adopted an ordinance prohibiting ritual sacrifice of animals within the city limits. The church claimed that the ordinance violated its members’ constitutional freedom of religion rights. The lower courts applied the Smith doctrine, which distinguishes between religious faith and religious conduct, to the Hialeah issue.

Purpose of Term Paper

The researcher proposes to explore and analyze literature related to issues raised before the U.S. Supreme Court in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah. In the conclusion of the paper, the researcher will attempt to identify rationales the U.S Supreme Court used in its ruling and implications of the outcome.

Value of the Study

The researcher will arrive at a clearer understanding of the guarantee of freedom of religion – particularly the difference between belief and an action based upon faith.

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