Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Court Rejects Church's Claim That Its Free Exercise Rights Include Cockfighting

In Plumbar v. Perrilloux, (MD LA, July 13, 2020), a Louisiana federal district court refused to issue a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Louisiana's statute that bans cockfighting.  Members of Holy Fight Ministries claim that cockfighting is an integral and essential part of their religious faith. In denying the injunction, the court said in part:
Defendants have provided satisfactory evidence to show that the state has a compelling interest in enacting a law banning cockfighting and because the evidence casts doubt upon the type of institution operated by Plaintiffs. In other words, the evidence suggests that the cockfighting activities were more commercial in nature than a bona fide religious ritual.