9th Cir decides Guru Nanak Sikh Society v. Sutter County
apicarello at becketfund.org
Tue Aug 1 11:26:40 PDT 2006
The Court refines the "substantial burden" standard along the same lines
as Posner's opinion in Sts. Constantine & Helen, and then finds a
"substantial burden" on the facts before it. The Court also rejects an
Enforcement Clause challenge to the application of Section 2(a) of
RLUIPA through the "individualized assessments" jurisdictional hook of
The case of Elsinore Christian Center v. City of Lake Elsinore was
argued before the same panel on the same day. The trial court decision
in that case was the first (and still only) to accept any challenge to
the constitutionality of any land use provision of RLUIPA.
Specifically, it accepted two constitutional challenges, Commerce and
Enforcement Clause challenges to Section 2(a), and the latter of these
is exactly what the 9th Circuit rejected today in Guru. (The Elsinore
decision is not out yet, but we expect it soon.)
The Becket Fund was amicus for plaintiffs in Guru, and represents the
plaintiffs on appeal in Elsinore.
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