Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association
United States Supreme Court
485 U.S. 439 (1988)
The United States Forest Service (Forest Service) (defendant) approved a project to build a 75-mile road between two towns in California, which required upgrading 49 miles of unpaved roads on federally owned land. To complete the project, the Forest Service needed to pave certain parts of land in the Six Rivers National Forest (the forest), which was used as a religious site for certain American Indian tribes (plaintiffs). The Forest Service commissioned a study of the area and determined that building the paved segments would interfere with the Indian tribes’ religious practice and cause significant damage to sacred areas in the forest. Nonetheless, the Forest Service decided to complete the project by selecting areas for paving the road that would avoid construction on religious sites and be the least disruptive to the tribes’ religious practice. The Forest Service refused to use alternative land to build a different route to finish the road, which would have required purchasing private land or using potentially unstable land. Additionally, the Forest Service authorized the harvesting of timber in the forest, with protective zones near the identified religious sites. The plaintiffs sued the Forest Service to prevent the completion of the proposed road and the authorization of the timber harvesting. The district court issued an injunction against the Forest Service. The court of appeals upheld the injunction, and the Forest Service appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Brennan, 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 726,000 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 726,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 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.