Press Releases

Village of Airmont, NY Will Cease Enforcement of Discriminatory Zoning Laws says Department of Justice

March 15, 2021

News Release
For Immediate Release: 3.15.21
Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

Village of Airmont, NY Will Cease Enforcement of Discriminatory Zoning Laws says Department of Justice
First Liberty Institute filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 alleging systematic discrimination by the Village forcing Orthodox Jewish community underground

Airmont, NY—The United States Department of Justice announced today the entry of a Consent Order of Preliminary Injunction requiring that the Village of Airmont, NY (“the Village”) immediately cease enforcement of zoning code provisions adopted in 2018 that discriminate against Orthodox Jewish residents.  First Liberty Institute filed a federal lawsuit against the Village in 2018.

“First Liberty is grateful that the U.S. Department of Justice joined the fight in Airmont to stop invidious government discrimination,” said Keisha Russell, Counsel at First Liberty Institute. “While this temporary consent decree is a great step, there is still major work to be done to ensure Airmont respects the rights of its Orthodox Jewish residents.  We will continue to fight to put an end to Airmont’s practice of religious discrimination once and for all.”

In December of 2018, First Liberty and the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of several residents, including three Orthodox Jewish rabbis, alleging that the Village has engaged in systematic discrimination forcing Orthodox Jewish residents to practice their faith in hiding in a deliberate effort to dissuade them from staying in or moving to Airmont.

The Village of Airmont incorporated in 1991, and its discriminatory zoning policies have been the subject of civil rights lawsuits spanning five different presidential administrations.  The same year of its inception, then U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr filed suit against Airmont for religious discrimination against the Orthodox community.

To read an announcement from the Department of Justice, click here.

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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 Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

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