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Ninth Circuit Rejects Activists’ Sneak Attack on Synagogue Days Before High Holidays

First Liberty Institute halts efforts to stop ancient religious ritual for the third time.

September 14, 2017

IRVINE, CA—Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected yet another effort by activists to prevent Chabad of Irvine, an Orthodox Jewish synagogue represented by First Liberty Institute, from exercising its faith through a historic Jewish ritual that takes place before Yom Kippur. The Court issued an order denying the activists’ motion for an injunction pending appeal. The latest ruling is the third time attorneys with First Liberty Institute have protected their client’s right to freely exercise its faith in less than twelve months.

“The First Amendment guarantees the right of this synagogue to practice its historic faith,” Stephanie Taub, Counsel First Liberty says. “When will these animal rights activists learn that they cannot use the courts to intimidate this synagogue?”

The ruling comes just two days after related activists filed still another lawsuit in which they announced the right to “effectuate a private persons arrest” of Orthodox Jews who are exercising their First Amendment rights through the ancient ritual.

“These activists know no bounds,” says Taub, “Since they cannot win in court, now they’re claiming the right to physically arrest their fellow countrymen for practicing their faith.”

Attorneys with First Liberty will continue to defend the Chabad of Irvine before the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

For more on this case, visit

About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Abigail Doty at or by calling 469-440-7598.

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