Juries in the United States
There are three types of juries in the United States, criminal grand juries, criminal petit juries, and civil juries. In the United States Constitution, juries are mentioned in Article Three and the Fifth, the Sixth, juries are not available in courts of American Samoa established pursuant to the Constitution of American Samoa. Declaration of Independence accused George III of depriving us in many cases, Constitution states that all trials shall be by jury. The U. S. Supreme Court noted the importance of the right in its 1968 ruling of Duncan v. Louisiana. The framers of the constitutions strove to create an independent judiciary, providing an accused with the right trial by a jury of his peers gave him an inestimable safeguard against the corrupt or overzealous prosecutor and against the compliant, biased, or eccentric judge. A grand jury decides whether or not there is evidence that a person has committed a crime in order to put him or her on trial. If a grand jury decides there is evidence, the person is indicted. A grand jury has 16-23 members, and its proceedings are not open to the public, unlike with a petit jury, the defendant is not allowed to appear before a grand jury.
A petit jury, known as a jury, is the standard type of jury used in criminal cases in the United States. Petit juries are responsible for deciding whether or not a defendant is guilty of violating the law in a specific case and they consist of 6-12 people and their deliberations are private. Their decision is known as a verdict and decides whether a person is guilty or not guilty. shall be by Jury, most states constitutions grant the right of trial by jury in lesser criminal matters, though most have eliminated that right in offenses punishable by fine only. The Supreme Court has ruled that if imprisonment is for six months or less, trial by jury is not required, meaning a state may choose whether or not to permit trial by jury in such cases. Specifically, the Supreme Court has held that no offense can be deemed petty for purposes of the right to trial by jury where imprisonment for more than six months is authorized. Justice Black and Justice Douglas concurred, stating that they would have required a trial in all criminal proceedings in which the sanction imposed bears the indicia of criminal punishment.
Chief Justice Burger, Justice Harlan and Justice Stewart objected to setting this limitation at six months for the States, no jury trial was required when the trial judge suspended sentence and placed defendant on probation for three years. The Supreme Court found that the disadvantages of such a sentence, onerous though they may be, may be outweighed by the benefits that result from speedy, such interpretations have been criticized on the grounds that all is not a word that constitution-makers use lightly. In the cases Apprendi v. New Jersey, and Blakely v. Depending upon the state a jury must be unanimous for either a guilty or not guilty decision. In the event of a jury, charges against the defendant are not dropped
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette,319 U. S. It was a significant court victory won by Jehovahs Witnesses, whose religion forbade them from saluting or pledging to symbols, however, in overruling Gobitis the Court primarily relied on the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment rather than the Free Exercise Clause. In the 1930s, the government of Nazi Germany began arresting thousands of Jehovahs Witnesses who refused to salute the Nazi flag, the Witnesses taught and still teach that the obligation imposed by the law of God is superior to that of laws enacted by temporal government. They consider that the flag is an image within this command, for this reason they refused to salute the flag. Children of Jehovahs Witnesses had been expelled from school and were threatened with exclusion for no other cause, officials threatened to send them to reformatories maintained for criminally inclined juveniles. Parents of such children had been prosecuted and were being threatened with prosecutions for causing delinquency, in 1935,9 year-old Carlton Nichols was expelled from school and his father arrested in Lynn, Massachusetts for such a refusal.
Additional refusals followed, one leading to Minersville School District v. Gobitis Even after the Gobitis decision. Following the Minersville School District v, the West Virginia State Board of Education was directed to prescribe the courses of study covering these subjects for public schools. The resolution originally required the commonly accepted salute to the Flag which it defined, objections to the salute as being too much like Hitlers were raised by the Parent and Teachers Association, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Red Cross, and the General Federation of Womens Clubs. Some modification appears to have made in deference to these objections. Failure to comply was considered insubordination and dealt with by expulsion, readmission was denied by statute until the student complied. … The developments with respect to the Gobitis case, are such that we do not feel that it is incumbent upon us to accept it as binding authority. The states principal argument was that Barnette raised no substantial federal question because Gobitis settled the constitutional questions raised by the flag-salute expulsions, the states brief quoted extensively from Justice Frankfurters Gobitis opinion.
Given the clear indications that at least five justices were ready to lay aside the Gobitis precedent, the American Legions amicus curiae brief filed in support of the states appeal did little more than duplicate the West Virginia argument. Hayden Covington answered the appeal in a brief that was a mixture of Jehovahs Witnesses Bible teachings. He included an attack on the Courts Gobitis opinion, especially rejecting Justice Frankfurters deference to legislative policymaking authority. Such deference, he argued, allowed the legislature to define its own powers and he emphasized the nationwide persecution of Jehovahs Witnesses that had followed Gobitis and concluded with a long list of law journal and newspaper articles that criticized the decision. The American Bar Associations Committee on the Bill of Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed amicus curiae briefs that argued Gobitis was bad law and should be overruled
Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a ritual. Human sacrifice has been practiced in various cultures throughout history, closely related practices found in some tribal societies are cannibalism and headhunting. By the Iron Age, with the developments in religion, human sacrifice was becoming less common throughout the Old World. In the New World, human sacrifice continued to be widespread to varying degrees until the European colonization of the Americas, in modern times, even the practice of animal sacrifice has virtually disappeared from all major religions, and human sacrifice has become extremely rare. Most religions condemn the practice, and modern secular laws treat it as murder, in a society which condemns human sacrifice, the term ritual murder is used. Human sacrifice is distinguished from infanticide, infanticide is deliberately causing the death of an unwanted infant or young child, but without a ritualistic or religious purpose.
The idea of sacrifice has its roots in deep prehistory. From its historical occurrences it seems mostly associated with neolithic or nomadic cultures, Human sacrifice has been practiced on a number of different occasions and in many different cultures. The various rationales behind human sacrifice are the same that motivate religious sacrifice in general, Human sacrifice is intended to bring good fortune and to pacify the gods, for example in the context of the dedication of a completed building like a temple or bridge. There is a Chinese legend that there are thousands of people entombed in the Great Wall of China, for the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they killed about 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days. According to Ross Hassig, author of Aztec Warfare, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed in the ceremony, Human sacrifice can have the intention of winning the gods favour in warfare. In Homeric legend, Iphigeneia was to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to appease Artemis so she would allow the Greeks to wage the Trojan War.
According to the Bible, Jephthah vowed to devote to God the first creature to come out of his house to him if he won the battle against the Ammonites. His daughter was the first to come out and meet him, in some notions of an afterlife, the deceased will benefit from victims killed at his funeral. Mongols, early Egyptians and various Mesoamerican chiefs could take most of their household, including servants and concubines, with them to the next world. This is sometimes called a sacrifice, as the leaders retainers would be sacrificed along with their master. Another purpose is divination from the parts of the victim. According to Strabo, Celts stabbed a victim with a sword, headhunting is the practice of taking the head of a killed adversary, for ceremonial or magical purposes, or for reasons of prestige
Local government in the United States
Local government in the United States refers to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state. Most states have at least two tiers of government and municipalities. In some states, counties are divided into townships, there are several different types of jurisdictions at the municipal level, including the city, town and village. The types and nature of municipal entities varies from state to state. Many rural areas and even suburban areas of many states have no municipal government below the county level. In other places consolidated city-county jurisdictions exist, in city and county functions are managed by a single municipal government. In some New England states, towns are the unit of local government and counties have no governmental function. Such special purpose districts often encompass areas in multiple municipalities, as of 2012, using the Census Bureaus definition, there were 89,055 local government units in the United States. When North America was settled by Europeans from the 17th century onward, small towns in Massachusetts were compared to city-states in a somewhat oligarchic form, but an oligarchy based on perceived virtue rather than wealth or birth.
Voting was established as a precedent early on, in fact, women were prevented from voting and African-Americans were excluded. The colonists never thought of themselves as subservient but rather as having an association with authorities in London. Representative government sprung up spontaneously in various colonies, and during the colonial years, office holders tended to serve from a sense of duty and prestige, and not for financial benefit. After the American Revolution, the electorate chose the governing councils in almost every American municipality, during the 19th century, many municipalities were granted charters by the state governments and became technically municipal corporations. Townships and county governments and city councils shared much of the responsibility for decision-making which varied from state to state, the concept of zoning originated in the U. S. Zoning legitimacy was upheld by the Supreme Court in its Euclid v. Ambler decision, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes local government a matter of state rather than federal law, with special cases for territories and the District of Columbia.
As a result, the states have adopted a variety of systems of local government. The United States Census Bureau conducts the Census of Governments every five years to compile statistics on government organization, public employment, the categories of local government established in this Census of Governments is a convenient basis for understanding local government in the United States. Counties and county-equivalents form the administrative division of the states
The Warren Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States during the period when Earl Warren served as Chief Justice. Warren replaced the deceased Fred M. Vinson as Chief Justice in 1953, Warren was succeeded as Chief Justice by Warren Burger. Warren led a majority that used judicial power in dramatic fashion. The Warren Court expanded civil rights, civil liberties, judicial power, the period is recognized as the highest point in judicial power that has receded ever since, but with a substantial continuing impact. Prominent members of the Court during the Warren era besides the Chief Justice included Justices William J. Brennan, Jr. William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Warren brought a strong belief in the remedial power of law. According to historian Bernard Schwartz, Warrens view of the law was pragmatic, seeing it as an instrument for obtaining equity, a related component of Warrens leadership was his focus on broad ethical principles, rather than narrower interpretative structures.
Tushnet suggests Warrens principles were philosophical and intuitive, Warrens leadership was characterized by remarkable consensus on the court, particularly in some of the most controversial cases. Fallon says that, Some thrilled to the approach of the Warren Court, many law professors were perplexed, often sympathetic to the Courts results but skeptical of the soundness of its constitutional reasoning. And some of course were horrified, professor John Hart Ely in his book Democracy and Distrust famously characterized the Warren Court as a Carolene Products Court. Warrens greatest asset, what made him in the eyes of many of his admirers Super Chief, was his skill in manipulating the other justices. Over the years his ability to lead the Court, to forge majorities in support of major decisions, Warren realized his weakness and asked the senior associate justice, Hugo L. Black, to preside over conferences until he became accustomed to the drill. A quick study, Warren soon was in fact, as well as in name, when Warren joined the Court in 1954 all the justices had been appointed by Franklin D.
Roosevelt or Truman, and all were committed New Deal liberals. They disagreed about the role that the courts should play in achieving liberal goals, the Court was split between two warring factions. Felix Frankfurter and Robert H. Jackson led one faction, which insisted upon judicial self-restraint and insisted courts should defer to the prerogatives of the White House. Warren was a liberal justice than anyone had anticipated. Warren was able to craft a series of landmark decisions because he built a winning coalition. When Frankfurter retired in 1962 and President John F. Kennedy named labor union lawyer Arthur Goldberg to replace him, William J. Brennan, Jr. a liberal Democrat appointed by Eisenhower in 1956, was the intellectual leader of the faction that included Black and Douglas. Brennan complemented Warrens political skills with the legal skills Warren lacked
Judicial review in the United States
The Court engaged in the process of judicial review by examining the plaintiffs claim that the carriage tax was unconstitutional. After review, the Supreme Court decided the Carriage Act was constitutional, in 1803, Marbury v. Madison was the first Supreme Court case where the Court asserted its authority for judicial review to strike down a law as unconstitutional. As of 2014, the United States Supreme Court has held 176 Acts of the U. S. Congress unconstitutional, before the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the power of judicial review had been exercised in a number of states. These state courts treated state constitutions as statements of governing law to be interpreted and applied by judges and these state court cases involving judicial review were reported in the press and produced public discussion and comment. Other delegates referred to some of these court cases during the debates at the Constitutional Convention. The concept of judicial review therefore was familiar to the framers, the text of the Constitution does not contain a specific reference to the power of judicial review.
Rather, the power to declare laws unconstitutional has been deemed an implied power, derived from Article III and it is the inherent duty of the courts to determine the applicable law in any given case. The Supremacy Clause says his Constitution is the law of the land. The Constitution therefore is the law of the United States. Federal statutes are the law of the land only when they are made in pursuance of the Constitution, State constitutions and statutes are valid only if they are consistent with the Constitution. Any law contrary to the Constitution is void, the federal judicial power extends to all cases arising under this Constitution. All judges are bound to follow the Constitution, if there is a conflict, the federal courts have a duty to follow the Constitution and to treat the conflicting statute as unenforceable. During the debates at the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers made a number of references to the concept of judicial review, the greatest number of these references occurred during the discussion of the proposal known as the Virginia Plan.
The Virginia Plan included a council of revision that would have examined proposed new laws and would have accepted or rejected them. The council of revision would have included the President along with some federal judges, several delegates objected to the inclusion of federal judges on the council of revision. In some states the judges had actually set aside laws, as being against the constitution and this was done too with general approbation. Luther Martin said, s to the constitutionality of laws, that point will come before the judges in their official character, in this character they have a negative on the laws. Join them with the executive in the revision, and they will have a double negative and these and other similar comments by the delegates indicated that the federal courts would have the power of judicial review
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States consisting of two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D. C, both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Members are usually affiliated to the Republican Party or to the Democratic Party, Congress has 535 voting members,435 Representatives and 100 Senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members in addition to its 435 voting members and these members can, sit on congressional committees and introduce legislation. Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a district. Congressional districts are apportioned to states by using the United States Census results. Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators, there are 100 senators representing the 50 states.
Each senator is elected at-large in their state for a term, with terms staggered. The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills, the House initiates impeachment cases, while the Senate decides impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before a person can be forcibly removed from office. The term Congress can refer to a meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years, the current one, the 115th Congress, began on January 3,2017, the Congress starts and ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators, members of the House of Representatives are referred to as representatives, congressmen, or congresswomen. One analyst argues that it is not a solely reactive institution but has played a role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure.
Several academics described Congress, Congress reflects us in all our strengths, Congress is the governments most representative body. Congress is essentially charged with reconciling our many points of view on the public policy issues of the day. —Smith and Wielen Congress is constantly changing and is constantly in flux, most incumbents seek re-election, and their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent
The idea is associated with views that contemporaneous society should be taken into account when interpreting key constitutional phrases. While the arguments for the Living Constitution vary, they can generally be broken into two categories, the second, relating to intent, contends that the constitutional framers specifically wrote the Constitution in broad and flexible terms to create such a dynamic, living document. The primary alternative to the Living Constitution is most commonly described as originalism, louis D. Brandeis, and Woodrow Wilson. Wilson strengthened this view, at least publicly, while he campaigned for President in 1912 and he said, Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics, it must develop. One could argue that Thomas Jefferson himself presented the idea of evolving Constitutional interpretations. In an 1816 letter to Samuel Kercheval, excerpted on Panel 4 of the Jefferson Memorial, he wrote But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.
We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, although the living Constitution is itself a characterization rather than a specific method of interpretation, the phrase is associated with various non-originalist theories of interpretation. The most common association is with judicial pragmatism, in the course of his judgment in Missouri v. Holland 252 U. S.416, Holmes made this remark on the nature of the constitution. It was enough for them to realize or to hope that they had created an organism, it has taken a century and has cost their successors much sweat and blood to prove that they created a nation. The case before us must be considered in the light of our whole experience, the treaty in question does not contravene any prohibitory words to be found in the Constitution. The only question is whether it is forbidden by some invisible radiation from the terms of the Tenth Amendment. We must consider what this country has become in deciding what that amendment has reserved, according to the pragmatist view, the Constitution should be seen as evolving over time as a matter of social necessity.
Looking solely to original meaning, when the intent was largely to permit many practices universally condemned today, is under this view cause to reject pure originalism out of hand. Maybe that is the nature of our, or perhaps any, written Constitution, but yet, perhaps the courts are authorized to plug at least the most glaring gaps. This would mean that a state could require everyone to marry, or to have intercourse at least once a month, or it could take away every second child. We find it reassuring to think that the courts stand between us and legislative tyranny even if a form of tyranny was not foreseen and expressly forbidden by framers of the Constitution. This pragmatist objection is central to the idea that the Constitution should be seen as a living document, edmund Randolph, in his Draft Sketch of Constitution, wrote this, In the draught of a fundamental constitution, two things deserve attention,1. To use simple and precise language, and general propositions, according to the example of the constitutions of the several states, james Madison, principal author of the U. S
William J. Brennan Jr.
William Joseph Brennan Jr. was an American judge who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990. As the seventh longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, he was known for being a leader of the Courts liberal wing and he was known for his outspoken progressive views, including opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights. Due to his ability to shape a variety of opinions and bargain for votes in many cases. Justice Antonin Scalia called Brennan probably the most influential Justice of the century, on November 30,1993, Justice Brennan was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. Brennan was born in Newark, New Jersey, the second of eight children and his parents and Agnes Brennan, were Irish immigrants. They met in the United States, although both were originally from County Roscommon in Ireland and his father had little education, he worked as a metal polisher. However, he rose to a position of leadership, serving as the Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Newark from 1927 to 1930, Brennan attended public schools in Newark, and graduated from Barringer High School in 1924.
He attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, while there, he joined Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Brennan graduated from Harvard Law School near the top of his class in 1931, when he was 21, Brennan married Marjorie Leonard, whom he had met in high school. They eventually had three children, William and Hugh, after graduating from Harvard Law School, Brennan entered private practice in his home state of New Jersey, where he practiced labor law at the firm of Pitney Hardin. He entered the Army as a major in March 1942, and he did legal work for the ordnance division. In 1949, Brennan was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor of New Jersey Alfred E. Driscoll, in 1951, Driscoll appointed him to the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Brennan was named to the U. S. Supreme Court through an appointment by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Presidential advisers thought the appointment of a Roman Catholic Democrat from the Northeast would woo critical voters in the upcoming re-election campaign for Eisenhower, a Republican.
Brennan gained the attention of Herbert Brownell, United States Attorney General and Eisenhowers chief legal affairs adviser, to Brownell, Brennans speech seemed to suggest a marked conservatism, especially on criminal matters. His nomination faced a small amount of controversy from two angles, Brennan filled the seat vacated by Justice Sherman Minton. He held the post until his retirement on July 20,1990, for health reasons, Brennan taught at Georgetown University Law Center until 1994. With 1,360 opinions, he is only to William O. Douglas in number of opinions written while a Supreme Court justice
Republicanism in the United States
Republicanism is the guiding political philosophy of the United States. It has been a part of American civic thought since its founding. American republicanism was founded and first practiced by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century, for them, according to one team of historians, republicanism represented more than a particular form of government. It was a way of life, an ideology, an uncompromising commitment to liberty. Republicanism was based on Ancient Greco-Roman and English models and it formed the basis for the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as the Gettysburg Address. The term republicanism is derived from the republic, but the two words have different meanings. A republic is a form of government, republicanism refers to the values of the citizens in a republic, two major parties have used the term in their name – the Democratic-Republican party of Thomas Jefferson, and the current Republican Party, founded in 1854.
The colonial intellectual and political leaders in the 1760s and 1770s closely read history to compare governments, the Revolutionists were especially concerned with the history of liberty in England and were primarily influenced by the country party. Country party relied heavily on the classical republicanism of Roman heritage, it celebrated the ideals of duty and it drew heavily on ancient Greek city-state and Roman republican examples. This approach produced a political ideology Americans called republicanism, which was widespread in America by 1775, Republicanism was the distinctive political consciousness of the entire Revolutionary generation. American republicanism was centered on limiting corruption and greed, Virtue was of the utmost importance for citizens and representatives. Revolutionaries took a lesson from ancient Rome, they knew it was necessary to avoid the luxury that had destroyed the Empire, a virtuous citizen was one who ignored monetary compensation and made a commitment to resist and eradicate corruption.
The Republic was sacred, therefore, it is necessary to serve the state in a representative way, ignoring self-interest. Republicanism required the service of those who were willing to give up their own interests for a common good, virtuous citizens needed to be strong defenders of liberty and challenge the corruption and greed in government. The duty of the virtuous citizen became a foundation for the American Revolution, the commitment of most Americans to republican values and to their property rights helped bring about the American Revolution. The greatest threat to liberty was thought by many to be corruption – not just in London, the colonists associated it with luxury and, inherited aristocracy, which they condemned. Historian Thomas Kidd argues that during the Revolution Christians linked their religion to republicanism and he states, With the onset of the revolutionary crisis, a major conceptual shift convinced Americans across the theological spectrum that God was raising up America for some special purpose.
Kidd further argues that new blend of Christian and republican ideology led religious traditionalists to embrace wholesale the concept of republican virtue, as virtuous republicans, citizens had a growing moral obligation to eradicate the corruption they saw in the monarchy
Religious Freedom Restoration Act
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. § 2000bb-4, is a 1993 United States federal law that ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected, the bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer on March 11,1993. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Ted Kennedy the same day, a unanimous U. S. House and a nearly unanimous U. S. Senate—three senators voted against passage—passed the bill, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law. However, it continues to be applied to the federal government—for instance, in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This law reinstated the Sherbert Test, which was set forth by Sherbert v. Verner, the burden must be necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest. Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine, a compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues. The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to all religions, but is most pertinent to Native American religions that are burdened by increasing expansion of government projects onto sacred land.
In Native American religion the land they worship on is very important, often the particular ceremonies can only take place in certain locations because these locations have special significance. This, along with use, are the main parts of Native American religions that are often left unprotected. The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment states that Congress shall not pass laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion, in the 1960s, the Supreme Court interpreted this as banning laws that burdened a persons exercise of religion. But in the 1980s the Court began to allow legislation that incidentally prohibited religiously mandatory activities as long as the ban was generally applicable to all citizens, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, intended to protect the freedoms of tribal religions, was lacking enforcement. This led to the key cases leading up to the RFRA, which were Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association,485 U. S.439, in Lyng, the Court was unfavorable to sacred land rights.
Members of the Yurok and Karok tribes tried to use the First Amendment to prevent a road from being built by the U. S. Forest Service through sacred land. The land that the road would go through consisted of gathering sites for natural resources used in ceremonies, the Supreme Court ruled that this was not an adequate legal burden because the government was not coercing or punishing them for their religious beliefs. Peyote use has been a practice in Native American tribes for centuries. It was integrated with Christianity into what is now known as the Native American Church, the Smith decision outraged the public. The act, which was Congresss reaction to the Lyng and Smith cases, passed the House unanimously, in 1997, part of this act was overturned by the United States Supreme Court. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio wanted to enlarge a church in Boerne, but a Boerne ordinance protected the building as a historic landmark and did not permit it to be torn down