Thursday, November 22, 2018

9th Circuit: Animal Rights Group Lacks Standing To Challenge Kapparot Practices

In United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, (9th Cir., Nov. 20, 2018), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that an animal rights group lacks standing to sue a Jewish religious organization for violating California's Unfair Competition Law. The suit challenged Chabad's sponsoring of kapparot -- an atonement ritual carried out before Yom Kippur involving the use and slaughter of live chickens.  The district court had reached the merits of the claim and had held that the acceptance of a donation in connection with the performance of religious ritual is not covered by the state's Unfair Competition Law. (See prior posting.) The 9th Circuit, by contrast, held that plaintiff was not injured by Chabad's actions and so lacks Article III standing. It vacated the district court's judgment and ordered the case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports on the decision.