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Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal

Docket No.: 04-1084
Certiorari Granted: Apr 18 2005
Argued: November 1, 2005
Decided: February 21, 2006

Topic:

First Amendment

PartyNames: Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al. v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, et al.
Petitioner: Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al.
Respondent: O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al.
v.
O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, et al.
546 U.S. 418 (2006)
Question Presented:

Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U .S.C. 2000bb et seq., 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.

Question:

Does the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 require the government to permit the importation, distribution, possession and use of an otherwise illegal drug by a religious organization when Congress has found that the drug has a high potential for abuse, is unsafe for use even under medical supervision, and violates an international treaty when imported or distributed?

Holding: affirmed and remanded
Vote: 8-0
Recused: Roberts, C.J., deliv
Read GONZALES V. O CENTRO ESPIRITA BENEFICIENTE UNIAO DO VEGETAL opinion (PDF)
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