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Jones v. Butz

374 F. Supp. 1284 (1974)

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Jones v. Butz

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

374 F. Supp. 1284 (1974)

Facts

In 1970 Congress passed the Humane Slaughter Act (the act) to ensure the humane slaughtering of animals for human consumption. Section 2 of the act provided the two slaughtering methods Congress deemed humane. The first method required that the animal be rendered unable to feel pain before being shackled and cut. The second method required that the animal be slaughtered in accordance with the Jewish faith. Section 5 of the act established a committee to execute the act’s provisions and required that a person familiar with the religious slaughtering of animals be appointed to the committee. Federal funds were spent to form the committee and execute the act. Section 6 provided that the act should not be construed as hindering religious freedom. A group of individuals and organizations seeking to encourage the humane treatment of animals and the separation of church and state (the entities) (plaintiffs) sued Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz and other government officials (collectively, the government) (defendants). The entities claimed that the act violated the Establishment and Free Exercise of Religion Clauses in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The government moved for summary judgment. The district court considered whether the entities had standing and the merits of their claims.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Palmieri, J.)

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