Civil Liberties for Urban Believers v. City of Chicago
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
342 F.3d 752 (2003)
The purpose of the Chicago zoning ordinance (CZO) was to promote and protect the general public welfare, promote stability within the residential, commercial, business, and manufacturing areas, and to promote their orderly and beneficial development. The CZO permitted churches as of right in all residential zones but required special use permits in commercial and business zones. The process of getting approval for a special use permit approached $5,000. A church in a manufacturing zone or some commercial zones would require rezoning. Chicago (defendant) later amended the CZO to require all clubs, lodges, meetings halls, and community centers to obtain special use permits in all the areas in which a church was required to obtain one. The Civil Liberties for Urban Believers, an association of Chicago-area religious or non-profit corporations, along with five individual member churches (plaintiffs), challenged the CZO on several grounds: violation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the free exercise of religion, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court granted summary judgment for the city on all counts, saying the CZO imposed no substantial burden on religious exercise, was rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, and was a neutral and generally applicable law that did not impermissibly burden religious exercise. Plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bauer, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.