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United States Second Circuit

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Central Rabbinical Congress v. New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygeine, 13-107

In this Free Exercise case involving the Orthodox Jewish religious practice of metzitzah b'peh (MBP) through which an adult performs direct oral suction of an infant circumcision wound, an order denying plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction against section 181.21 of the New York City Health Code is vacated and remanded, where: 1) section 181.21 demands the signed written consent of one of the circumcised infant's parents and the consent form must warn that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advises parents that direct oral suction should not be performed; 2) the regulation is not neutral as it purposefully and exclusively targets a religious practice for special burdens, and is underinclusive, not generally applicable as to the HSV infection prevention goals; and 3) the standard that must be applied upon remand analysis is strict scrutiny.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 08/15/2014
  • Published 08/15/2014




  • United States Second Circuit


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