Freedom of Assembly/Religion

Prior to posting your primary response to this discussion watch The First Amendment (Links to an external site.) and the 002 History of US law and what is the law? (Links to an external site.) videos and review all the one-page Supreme Court decisions listed in the Required Resources section.

Respond to the following case scenario:

Reverend William B. Slick is the spiritual leader of the Church of the Jurassic Spirit (CJS). CJS doctrine claims that every invention since the dinosaurs has been inspired by the devil and that members must return to the spirit of the Jurassic period in order to be purified. The primary ritual is to publicly bathe in the essence of the dinosaurs (oil). Capital City follows the same format for its permits used by the City of Atlanta, Georgia (i.e., City of Atlanta’s Assembly Permit Application (Links to an external site.)). The CJS applies for a permit for 500 of its members to assemble to bathe in oil in Capital City Park. CJS plans to march to the Capital City River to dump the oil, thereby “returning it to the Earth.” The mayor of Capital City despises the CJSers, because he feels that their ritual is a waste of petroleum, which is a diminishing resource. He also feels that the dumping of the oil will pollute the river. The police chief of Capital City hates the idea of 500 CJSers bathing in oil in the park and fears their march to the river will cause counter demonstrations and possible violence. The permit is denied. The CJSers appear to perform their ritual anyway and are all arrested.

Research First Amendment cases involving free exercise of religion and freedom of assembly.

If your last name begins with A through M, address the following in your primary response this week:

  • Whether Capital City has violated the CJSers’ free exercise of religion.
  • Whether Capital City has violated the CJSers’ right to freely assemble.

If your last name begins with N through Z, address the following in your primary response for this week.

  • Whether city ordinances that require permits for a march violate the First Amendment.
  • What are the limits of the free exercise of religion clause are.

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Address information that is missing to better understand the position of either side in this confrontation and whether different reasoning for either the CJS’ or Capital City’s actions would strengthen their respective positions.

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