Oregon Vs. Smith : The United States Supreme Court Case Essay

1940 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 8 Pages
Question 1) Oregon vs. Smith, is a United States Supreme Court case that determined wither or not the state could reject unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state’s narcotic prohibition, even if the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. Legally states have the right to accommodate some illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, but they are not required to make accommodations. This made The Supreme Court decision a major event in Native American religious beliefs, the case attracted widespread support form not only Native religious beliefs but also voodoo religious beliefs. Oregon v. Smith had a diverse range of religious groups eager to protect their own religious freedom and their use of spiritual medicine. It also led to an intense back and forth struggle between the Court and Congress, which fought back with amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which protected religious freedom for all Americans (Cline, 2012).
Alfred Smith and Galen Black were both members of a Native American Church and were part time counselors at a private drug rehabilitation clinic(). They were both fired because they had ingested the drug peyote, a powerful hallucinogen, as part of their one of many religious ceremonies as members of the Native American Church. In the 90’s it was illegal for intentional possession or consumption of peyote and was a crime under Oregon law without an…

Related Documents