November 1, 2005

Reviewing a church's claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that it cannot be barred fom importing a hallucinogenic tea used in its sacramental ceremonies. DECIDED

The issue in this case is whether the federal government can bar a church from importing a hallucinogenic tea that it uses in its sacramental ceremonies. The government does not challenge the legitimacy of the church nor its sincerely held religious beliefs. The government claims, instead, that it has a compelling interest in the uniform enforcement of the drug laws that would be undermined by any exceptions. The ACLU joined an amicus brief arguing that the government's theory would frustrate the purposes of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by always allowing the government to overcome any religious claim under RFRA.

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