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Leblanc-Sternberg v. Fletcher
United States Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit (1994)


  1. In these cases, where the Village of Airmont has adopted a zoning code that imposes severe restrictions on the establishment of houses of worship, did the court below err in finding no free exercise violations by the defendants?
  2. Where the zoning code adopted by the Village of Airmont has a disparate negative impact on Orthodox Jews, and where there is ample evidence of animus against Orthodox Jews in the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Village, did the court below err in finding no violations of the Fair Housing Act?


Agudath Israel of America is a 72 year old national Orthodox Jewish organization. It has many constituents in the Monsey-Ramapo area, including Airmont. The decision of this Court -- and, perhaps even more importantly, the means by which the decision is reached -- will likely have a direct and substantial impact on these constituents, and on Orthodox Jewish communities throughout the United States.

These cases implicate two broad concerns that are near or at the top of Agudath Israel's legal and communal agendas: (1) the right of Orthodox Jews, like Americans of all faiths, to the free exercise of religion; and (2) the ability of Orthodox Jews, like


all minority communities, to enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship without discrimination or prejudice. It is on those two broad themes that we focus our attention in this amicus curiae brief.

The parties to these cases, through their respective counsel, have consented to the filing of this brief.


Agudath Israel adopts the statements of facts contained in the the briefs of the Sternberg plaintiffs and the United States of America.

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