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Constitutional Law

Feb. 12, 2024

A tale of two doggies

Two cases illustrate the difficulty of defining religion for legal purposes: U.S. v. Ballard, where the Court upheld the freedom of a group that claimed to receive divine messages from Saint Germain, and U.S. v. Kuch, where the Court rejected the claim of a group that used psychedelic drugs as sacraments.

Myron Moskovitz

Legal Director, Moskovitz Appellate Team

90 Crocker Ave
Piedmont , CA 94611-3823

Phone: (510) 384-0354


UC Berkeley SOL Boalt Hal

Myron is author of Strategies On Appeal (CEB, 2021) and Winning An Appeal (5th ed., Carolina Academic Press). The Daily Journal designated Moskovitz Appellate Team as one of California's top boutique law firms. Prior "Moskovitz On Appeal" columns can be found at

I’m a dutiful reader of the New York Times print edition, mainly for the news, opinions, and sports. I glance over the other pages, where I occasionally find some feature of interest.

One such feature is called The Ethicist. A recent column addressed the following inquiry from a reader, who said his “good friend” (yeah, right) had an ethical problem. I’ll call his good friend “Zack.” ...

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