Monday, April 18, 2005

Supreme Court Grants Cert. on Sacramental Use of Tea Containing Controlled Substance

Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a divided en banc decision of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case brought by O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Unial Do Vegetal seeking a preliminary injunction to allow it to import hoasca for sacramental use. Plaintiffs sought an injunction against the United States under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute that was previously invalidated as it applied to states, but is still valid as it applies to the federal government. The 10th Circuit en banc came to the same final result as an earlier decision by a divided 3-judge panel, all agreeing that a preliminary injunction should be granted. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case in its next term that begins in October 2005.