Unexpected Decisions: Bush v. Gore, Peyote Case

February 25, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On February 25, 2001, The Washington Post published an article that compared the Supreme Court's ruling in Bush v. Gore with its ruling in the case of Employment Division, Oregon Department of Human Services v. Smith: both were unexpected. The latter case "reversed nearly 50 years of judicial decisions and slapped tough new limits on the exercise of religious freedom." After the drug rehabilitation center where they worked fired them for consuming peyote, Al Smith and Galen Black sued the center for denying them unemployment benefits even though they had used the peyote as part of a Native American religious ceremony. Many were shocked that the two men lost the case.