From our private database of 37,500+ case briefs...
Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith
United States Supreme Court
494 U.S. 872, 110 S.Ct. 1595, 108 L.Ed.2d 876 (1990)
Oregon state law prohibits the knowing or intentional possession of a controlled substance unless that substance has been medicinally prescribed. Alfred Smith and Galen Black (plaintiffs) were fired from their jobs after they ingested peyote for sacramental purposes at a Native American Church service. When they applied for unemployment benefits with the Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon (EDDHR) (defendant), they were determined to be ineligible for benefits because they had been discharged for work-related misconduct. Smith and Black unsuccessfully challenged the denial in state court. However, on remand, the Oregon Supreme Court vacated its previous judgment and held that the denial of benefits violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Blackmun, 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 631,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 631,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 37,500 briefs, keyed to 984 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.