Employment Divison v Smith

Employment Divison v Smith - 1 U.S. Supreme Court...

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1 U.S. Supreme Court Employment Div. v. Smith., 494 U.S. 872 (1990) Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith No. 88-1213 Argued Nov. 6, 1989 Decided April 17, 1990 494 U.S. 872 CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF OREGON SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which REHNQUIST, C.J., and WHITE, STEVENS, and KENNEDY, JJ., joined. O'CONNOR, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in Parts I and II of which BRENNAN, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined without concurring in the judgment, post, p. 494 U. S. 891 . BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 494 U. S. 907 . Justice SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court. This case requires us to decide whether the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment permits the State of Oregon to include religiously inspired peyote use within the reach of its general criminal prohibition on use of that drug, and thus permits the State to deny unemployment benefits to persons dismissed from their jobs because of such religiously inspired use. Respondents Alfred Smith and Galen Black were fired from their jobs with a private drug rehabilitation organization because they ingested peyote for sacramental purposes at a ceremony of the Native American Church, of which both are members. When respondents applied to petitioner Employment Division for unemployment compensation, they were determined to be ineligible for benefits because they had been discharged for work-related "misconduct". The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed that determination, holding that the denial of benefits violated respondents' free exercise rights under the First Amendment…. . Respondents' claim for relief rests on our decisions in Sherbert v. Verner, supra, Thomas v. Review Board, Indiana Employment Security Div., supra, and Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm'n of Florida, 480 U. S. 136 (1987), in which we held that a State could not condition the availability of unemployment insurance on an individual's willingness to forgo conduct required by his religion.
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Employment Divison v Smith - 1 U.S. Supreme Court...

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