Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Establishment Clause Problem In Indictment of Halal Meat Exporter For False Statements

In United States v. Aossey, (ND IA, Aug. 25, 2015), an Iowa federal district court rejected Establishment Clause and Free Exercise challenges to a 92-count indictment against various affiliated companies and individuals charging them with making false statements on export certificates and on a website regarding Halal-slaughter of meat being exported. The court said in part:
[N]either the court nor the jury will be required to decide what Halal means. The government is not claiming merely that Defendants represented that they were selling Halal products that were not in fact Halal....  Rather, the government is alleging that Defendants made specific, false representations, including: (1) Defendants did not use penetrative captive bolt stunning; (2) all of Defendants’ beef products were hand-slaughtered; (3) a practicing Muslim recited a specific prayer while slaughtering; (4) Defendants did not sell leftover hindquarters from Kosher slaughters as Halal; (5) Defendants’ meat products complied with the laws and requirements of Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates; and (6) the animals slaughtered were vegetarian fed. The government believes that Defendants made these allegedly false representations to convince their customers that their meat products were Halal.
(See prior related posting.)