Mr. Storzer has joined forces with Robert L. Greene, Esq.,
to form the law firm of Storzer & Greene, P.L.L.C., please visit our new website
for further information about the firm and its cases.
The federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirms the "ministerial exception" doctrine, which protects the
ability of religious institutions to choose those who spread their message. In a case involving a former church music director
suing a Catholic diocese for alleged age discrimination, Judge Posner writes
So far as his role
as organist is concerned, his lawyer says that all Tomic did was play music. But there is no one way to play music. If Tomic
played the organ with a rock and roll beat, or played excerpts from Jesus Christ Superstar, at an Easter Mass he would be
altering the religious experience of the parishioners.
The opinion can be found here
March 26, 2006: Rochester, NY
churches spreading their wings," Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
: Describing the plight of growing churches in
Monroe County, New York.
The biggest reason churches run into problems is the NIMBY � Not in My
Back Yard � factor, said Roman P. Storzer, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who specializes in the First Amendment.
places of worship will be discouraged from moving or expanding in downtown areas because they don't pull in enough traffic.
Those same churches might be discouraged from moving to the suburbs because they bring in too much traffic.
But places of worship have what the courts call "inherent beneficial land use," Storzer said. They have a good effect
on society, thanks to their soup kitchens, ball fields and other programs.
So courts have said that just losing tax
money is not a compelling reason to stop a church's construction.
March 10, 2006: Flushing, NY
: "Resounding Victory
for Hindu Temple Society,"
In a key turning point in the attack by a group of minority insurgents for legal control of
a religious institution, the New York Supreme Court announced a clear victory for the Temple:
Mysorekar stated "This is a vindication of what we have said all along: the Board Members have been excellent stewards of
the Temple. Although the courts have unconstitutionally forced us to conduct this election at the insurgents' behest, we are
still happy that devotees have given us their confidence and trust."
Robert Greene, Of Counsel to The Becket Fund,
said "We are very happy that the devotees have resoundingly demonstrated their commitment to the First Amendment and freedom
of religion. We will continue to fight to have the New York State Courts recognize the Temple's right to organize and manage
itself without state interference."
Roman P. Storzer, Of Counsel to The Becket Fund, also applauds the election results.
Becket Fund represents the Temple, its Trustees, and its devotees in state and federal courts to defend the Temple against
this unprecedented invasion of its religious autonomy.
6, 2006: Washington, DC
: "Effect of O Centro Supreme Court
Decision on RLUIPA Cases,"
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's www.RLUIPA.org
February 21, 2006, the United States Supreme Court issued a watershed decision in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente
Uniao Do Vegetal, No. 04-1084, 546 U.S. __ (2006), applying the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the predecessor
to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) against the federal government. While the decision is nominally
about a separate statute protecting religious exercise and about drug use, its implications for church zoning issues are significant.
Becket Fund's RLUIPA project
was spearheaded by Mr. Storzer during his tenure as its Director
of Litigation and remains a valuable resource to religious institutions affected by burdensome and discriminatory land use
March 2, 2006: Bedminster, NJ
rules in favor of church," The Reporter
"This decision confirms that cities and towns
can't simply deny permits to churches in a way that substantially burdens their religion because of political pressure," said
Storzer. "They'll be required to justify these decisions and demonstrate that they had no other means of achieving their goals."
case against Bedminster Township continues.
March 5, 2006: Washington, DC:
Utopia?," AFF Brainwash
: Mr. Storzer's column on the legal and other issues surrounding Domino Pizza founder Thomas
Monaghan's plans to build the Town of Ave Maria in southwestern Florida:
The initial concept of
Ave Maria, if implemented, would scale back on what the modern American understands to be the personal freedoms he is entitled
to: privacy rights, free speech, free press, no establishment of religion. And perhaps few of us would hope that the nation
itself would be run this way. But where nobody will step within the borders of Ave Maria other than by his own free choice--and
where objectors are free to avoid participating simply by hopping on a bus--won't it be regrettable if there isn't room in
America, even in some remote tomato field, for this experiment?
2, 2006: Bedminster, NJ
Federal judge won�t dismiss Church of the Hills Lawsuit," Recorder Newspapers
judge in Trenton denied a motion by the township on Friday, Feb. 24, to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Church of the Hills.
. . .
�It�s great news for us, but not surprising, really,� said Paul Gover, spokesman for the Church of the
Hills. �The facts were pretty plain.�
�What this means, to me, is we�re going to have a trial,� said zoning
board attorney John Lore, one of four lawyers representing the township.
. . . .
The church was represented
in federal court by its zoning attorney, Stephen Barcan, and its special RLUIPA counsel, Roman Storzer.
February 24, 2006: Trenton, NJ:
Victory for The Church of the Hills in Civil Rights Case,"
The federal district
court hearing the lawsuit between The Church of the Hills and Bedminster Township, which charges that the Township violated
the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 ("RLUIPA"), denied the Township�s
motion to dismiss the lawsuit late Friday. The United States Department of Justice had previously filed a brief in support
of the Church�s arguments, saying that the Township�s arguments were "without merit" and represented "a fundamental misunderstanding"
of the applicable law.
The court rejected every single argument by the Township that RLUIPA was unconstitutional, holding
that "[a]pplying the heightened level of scrutiny imposed by the RLUIPA�s general rule . . . to these types of individualized
assessments merely codifies the jurisprudence in Free Exercise cases . . . ." The court rejected the Township�s additional
arguments that RLUIPA violated the Commerce Clause, the Tenth Amendment, the Establishment Clause, or "separation of powers."
court also held that the First Amendment�s Free Exercise Clause protects the Church to the same extent as RLUIPA
Storzer represents the Church along with the New Jersey firm of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A. Read the court's opinion
February 17, 2006: Grand Haven, MI:
Roman Storzer appeared before Judge Calvin Bosman
in Michigan Circuit Court, arguing that Georgetown Township's arbitrary ruling that Great Lakes Society is not a "church"
violated state law and should be overturned.
February 2, 2006: Rockland County, NY:
Seeks To Close Bikur Cholim Shabbos House," The Jewish Press
"I think they just don't
want the Jews here," said Rabbi Lauber, who described his shock at reading in a newspaper that before the town hearing, which
he attended, the town's code enforcer prepped villagers to avoid talking about religion. The tension in the room was so fierce,
Rabbi Lauber recalled, that the police chief sat in the row in front of him and his fellow Bikur Cholim representatives, ostensibly
to prevent an attack of sorts.
"At no point during the proceedings were we given a chance to explain ourselves," said
Goldstein. "As soon as our attorney started reading a letter of support from Good Samaritan Hospital, 250 people in the courtroom
began booing. It was something you would see on a TV show. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It didn't feel like America.
It just didn't."
A motion to enjoin Suffern from shutting down the Shabbos House is pending in federal
January 24, 2006: Hudson Valley, NY:
welcome for Jews staying near hospital," Times Herald-Record
On Friday and Saturday,
[Isaac] Guttman [whose wife was giving birth to their first child] had - at no charge - free reign of the house, which is
owned and operated by Bikur Cholim ("visiting the sick"). The Monsey-based nonprofit group offers Orthodox Jews who are visiting
family members at Good Samaritan a place to eat and sleep (and pace) during the Sabbath, which lasts from sundown Friday to
sundown Saturday. Orthodox Jews are forbidden to drive during the Sabbath.
But Mills and her neighbors, along with
village officials, call the yellow two-story house at 5 Hillcrest Road an illegal transient motel and say it should be shuttered.
In response, Bikur Cholim has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming its religious rights are being violated.
more information, read the Law Office's January 3 Press
January 3, 2006: White Plains, NY:
lawsuit filed against Village of Suffern for violating First Amendment; Village prohibits Jewish �Shabbos House� near
Good Samaritan Hospital,"
Bikur Cholim, a small not-for-profit religious organization
that provides Orthodox Jews with a temporary home and opportunity for prayer during the Sabbath while staying near family
members admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital, has filed suit against the Village of Suffern, located in Rockland County, New
York, in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York, charging violations of the U.S. and New York Constitutions
and the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (�RLUIPA�). The lawsuit challenges the Village�s
Zoning Code, which prohibits such a use completely, as well as the denial of a variance to operate in a one family house located
directly adjacent to a professional office building and across the street from the Hospital�s parking lot. The lawsuit
is also joined by its founder, Rabbi Simon Lauber, and several other individuals whose religious beliefs have been accommodated
by Bikur Cholim.
Mr. Storzer joins the New York law firm of Paul Savad & Associates in representing Rabbi
Lauber and Bikur Cholim. The plaintiffs have filed a motion for preliminary injunction to prevent the Village from shutting
them down. A hearing is expected in the Spring. "Jewish
Group files federal suit against Suffern," The Journal News (Jan. 4, 2006).
31, 2005: Washington, DC: "Bush nominates Alito
to Supreme Court," (CNN.com). If successful, this nomination will help to ensure strong application of the Free Exercise
Clause's protection of religious liberty. At the Third Circuit, Judge Alito wrote opinions both protecting the rights of
those practicing minority faiths and well as rejecting a doctrine of separationist hostility to religion (during his years
at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Roman Storzer had the opportunity to represent several clients in religious liberty
cases before Judge Alito):
- Fraternal Order of Police, Newark Lodge No. 12 v. City of Newark, 170 F.3d 359
(3d Cir. 1999): In a case where Mr. Storzer represented the plaintiffs, Judge Alito protected the rights of Muslim police
officers to wear beards for religious reasons, where exceptions to a no-beard policy were made for other reasons.
v. Pennsylvania, 381 F.3d 202 (3d Cir. 2004): Held that Pennsylvania did not have a sufficiently compelling reason to
prevent a Native American from practicing his faith.
- ACLU-NJ v. Township of Wall, 246 F.3d 258 (3d Cir.
2001): Rejected a challenge by the ACLU-NJ to a town's Christmas display. Mr. Storzer, representing the Township, successfully
argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring this challenge.
- Child Evangelism Fellowship of New Jersey
v. Stafford Township School District, 386 F.3d 514 (3d Cir. 2004): Ordered that a school district could not discriminate
against a religious group in its policy regarding flyer distribution.
- ACLU-NJ v. Schundler, 168 F.3d 92
(3d Cir. 2001): Rejected another challenge by the ACLU-NJ to a holiday display. Judge Alito upheld a display by Jersey City
(represented by Roman Storzer) that included a menorah and creche as an element of the city's cultural and ethnic diversity.
October 28, 2005: Chesapeake, VA:: "Chesapeake
settles property dispute with church for $1.1 million," Virginian-Pilot:
are very pleased," said Roman Paul Storzer, a Washington, D.C., attorney and co-counsel for the church. "This gives them the
opportunity to keep doing the good work they're doing in the community for some time to come."
Storzer said First Pentecostal
had a strong case if the dispute had gone to trial.
"The importance of this settlement is clear," he said. "Cities
must consider the religious rights of churches when planning their economic agendas."
October 27, 2005, Chesapeake, VA: Press Release: "Federal
lawsuit against City of Chesapeake Settled; City Offers First Pentecostal United Holy Church $1.1 Million for Property":
"The importance of this settlement is clear," stated Roman P. Storzer, co-counsel for the Church and church-zoning
expert, "cities must consider the religious rights of churches when planning their economic agendas." When the property,
which had formerly housed a supermarket, was put on the market several years ago, the Church was the only interested buyer.
"With the settlement, the City of Chesapeake is choosing to invest in its revitalization plan through the purchase of the
property, rather than denying construction permits to those who saw a different vision for the community in which they live."For
more about the Church's struggle, see "Court
is best arbiter in church-city dispute," The Virginian-Pilot (Jan. 23, 2005).
23, 2005, Rockaway Township, NJ: Letter to the Editor: "Religion,
Land Zoning." In responding to Paula Saha's "Feds
Probe Zoning Case," The Ledger (Oct. 15, 2005), Mr. Storzer writes
The conflict between
religious institutions -- churches, synagogues and mosques, and local zoning authorities -has existed for decades, with legitimate
concerns being raised by both sides. It has resulted in Congress and many states passing legislation protecting important
First Amendment freedoms, many towns and counties reconsidering land-use laws, and churches becoming newly aware of potential
impacts they may have on communities.
However, reporter Paula Saha [of the Religion News Service] reduces this debate
simply to being about "a church's freedom to build where it pleases." Nothing could be further from the truth. The Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which gives the federal Department of Justice the authority to investigate illegal
zoning practices, provides churches with relief only in very specific instances: where it is being discriminated against or
where its religious exercise is being "substantially burdened" without an important reason by the government.
October 3, 2005, Bonsall, CA: The Abbott of the Vietnamese Buddhist Meditation Congregation,
represented by this office, writes an open letter
to the community providing information about its meditation center and pledging cooperation:
the Dai Dang Meditation Center, quality of life is as important to us as it is to you. In fact, it is the quality of a peaceful,
balanced life that as Buddhists we seek -- it is our daily goal and purpose. Therefore, we would like to assure you that our
intentions and goals are not to create disharmony with our natural setting. Quite the opposite: we are striving to develop
a place that is in harmony with our environment and community and where we can peacefully practice our faith. We can achieve
this goal with your support and constructive input.Processing of the Congregation's application continues.
October 3, 2005, San Francisco, CA: Hastings
Weekly: "Professor Marci Hamilton � author of God & the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law and leading RLUIPA advocate
� and Roman Storzer � formerly with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and counsel for religious organizations in many
of the leading RLUIPA cases � will square off on RLUIPA, religious displays, prayer, and the role of religion in public
October 4, 2005, Santa Clara, CA: The Victory Outreach
Church, represented by Mr. Storzer, filed its Petition
for Supreme Court review of a lower court decision permitting Santa Clara county to shut down the Church for zoning violations:
The court below reached a remarkable and wholly unsupportable conclusion: It held that a church could not assert
defenses under the First Amendment and RLUIPA to a judicial action brought against it by a County that will inevitably lead
to tearing down of its place of worship. In doing so, the court's decision runs contrary to every single other court that
has ruled upon this issue, ignores Congress' explicit intent to permit RLUIPA to be used as a defense in such proceedings,
disregards this Court's holding that exhaustion of administrative remedies is unnecessary in Section 1983 actions, and will
destroy this vital ministry. This Court's review is critically necessary to avoid such a conflict on a fundamentally important
question of law.
This case presents an important issue of first impression concerning the ability of
local governments to regulate--in this instance, to destroy completely--religious worship on private property. Review is
necessary in order to settle the question of when a religious institution may assert a federal statute in defense to such
action, and to bring the Sixth Appellate District into conformity with every other jurisdiction within the State and beyond
that disagree with the notion that legislative remedies need be sought before federal civil rights may be asserted. Petitioners
submit that the lower court's serious error, contrary to the decisions of several federal courts of appeals on the same question,
must be reversed and that the appropriate standard for determining whether such an issue is ripe for review is the traditional
one: whether an injury is particularized and concrete enough to confer standing. Accordingly, the Petition for Review should
October 5, 2005, San Francisco, CA: Roman
Storzer will debate Professor Marci Hamilton at UC Hastings' Center for State
and Local Government Law's conference on "Cities in the Middle: The Emerging Debate over Religion in Public Life."
A mosque is denied a building permit. A minister ends her invocation at a council meeting, "in Jesus' name, we pray."
Plans for a new county building include a motto over the entrance, "In God We Trust." And offended citizens object, leaving
the local government lawyer caught squarely in the middle.Details and registration
information are available here.
As the debate over the role of religion in public life intensifies,
the law could not be more uncertain. Religious displays on government property are allowed, except when they aren't. The Lemon
test remains the law, except when it doesn't. The only certainty is that the Supreme Court itself is deeply divided over text,
precedent and history, and that the changing composition of the Court leaves everything up for grabs.
The ninth annual
"Cities on the Cutting Edge" conference will examine the consequences of the Court's recent Establishment Clause cases for
California's cities and counties. Ranging from the theory and history that animate this controversial area of law to practical
analysis of controversies local government lawyers are soon likely to face, this conference promises an in depth look at the
law that defines the emerging debate over the role of religion in public life.
September 30, 2005, Washington, DC: "Court
Halts $15B O'Hare Expansion Plan," ABC News (September 30, 2005):
The city was expecting final
approval and started to break ground on the airport's first runway since 1971 after Mayor Richard M. Daley said "Let's go"
into a walkie talkie at a celebratory news conference. See also "Hours
after FAA's approval, court halts $15B O'Hare plan," USA Today (September 30, 2005).
But hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington granted
a stay of the project while it considers an emergency request filed by opponents, who argued it should be stopped because
it would desecrate a cemetery with 1,300 tombs dating back to the 1800s.
31, 2005, Flushing, NY: A new lawsuit brought against a Hindu Temple attempts to regulate the relationship between a religious
institution and its clergy. Mr. Storzer, co-counsel for the Temple, argues that applying certain labor laws to the activities
of priests and those who prepare religious offerings would violate the First Amendment.
Hindu Temple accused..." NY Newsday (Aug. 31, 2005).
"More trouble is cooking," India Abroad (Aug.
The Temple has denied all of the relevant accusations leveled against it by this plaintiff, and will vigorously
defend itself against the lawsuit.
August 19, 2005, New York, NY:
"Flushing temple society trustees get a boost; New York Attorney General files supportive brief," India Abroad:
The [Attorney General's] brief noted that the decision of the court in this matter was erroneous: The Attorney General
agrees with the Acting Board that as a matter of statutory interpretation, an Article 9 'free church' like the Society is
governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.Arguments
continue in this case, which involves the attempted hostile takeover of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, in the
Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.
. . . .
"The attorney general argues that the prior mistaken decision
of the New York appellate court can be reversed and it certainly should to avoid becoming the first constitutional decision
in this nation's history permitting the government to decide how religious institutions will be run," Roman P. Storzer said.
August, 2005, San Diego,
CA: Read the Court's Order
on Settlement in Vietnamese Buddhist Meditation Congregation v. County of San Diego, Case No. 05-1156 (S.D. Cal.),
maintaining jurisdiction to ensure that the terms of the agreement, which permit the Plaintiff monks and laypeople to continue
their meditation activity, are enforced.
See also: "Law
Briefs," The Daily Record, August 2, 2005.
August 10, 2005, Chicago, IL: FAA decides to leave one cemetery alone after religious freedom
challenge, still plans to allow Chicago to remove another for O'Hare expansion. Roman Storzer is part of a legal team representing
both cemeteries against the City of Chicago, maintaining that desecration of sacred ground violates the First Amendment and
the Religious Freedom.
backs Daley's O'Hare Plan," Chicago Tribune (July 28, 2005):
The city had planned to
destroy both Rest Haven and St. Johannes to make room for Runway 10 Center, which the city expects to open in 2009. . . .
But the FAA said Rest Haven could remain undisturbed if Chicago modified plans to build new airport cargo facilities.Read
the FAA's press release here.
August 3, 2005, San Diego, CA: "Buddhists
Reach Accord With County, Can Resume Worship," L.A. Daily Journal:
SAN DIEGO - Vietnamese Buddhist monks who claimed that their neighbors' religious hostility
led to the shutdown of their services have won a settlement that allows worship to resume.
The accord lifts a
cease-and-desist order that had halted meditation and other activities on the site, located near Bonsall in northern San Diego
"This is exactly the type of protection Congress meant to extend when it passed [RLUIPA]," Storzer said.
August 5, 2005, New York, NY: "Religion
and America," Letter to the Editor, The Indian Express (Storzer explains how labor laws cannot intrude upon the
As the lawsuit itself describes, the religious cooks prepare naivedyam
(cooked offerings) for daily rituals as well as special prasadams for Hindu festivals. These are all part of non-profit
religious activity that has a much different character than frying up burgers at McDonalds.
The Temple will defend
itself in this matter. These protections are especially important where minority religions, such as Hinduism in the United
States, are concerned. We cannot always count on government bureaucrats making the right decisions for activities that they
may not well understand.
August 1, 2005, San Diego, CA: The County of San Diego settles with the Vietnamese Buddhist
Meditation Congregation and allows their religious use to continue. After the Congregation--represented by this office--filed
suit against the County, preventing it from enforcing a Cease and Desist order requiring the Congregation to "cease ALL religious
assembly," the County agreed to lift that order, permitting the group to continue their Buddhist meditation activity.
lawsuit against County of San Diego settled; County will permit religious use to continue in Bonsall," Press Release,
Law Office of Roman P. Storzer (August 1, 2005):
"This is a great victory for these monks and those
who meditate with them," said Roman P. Storzer, attorney for the Congregation. "We applaud the County for agreeing to allow
the use to continue." This is the latest case to be resolved under RLUIPA, which prevents local governments from 'substantially
burdening' religious exercise unless they have compelling reasons for doing so. "A small, minority religion without great
political power in the County will now be able to continue engaging in the same religious activity they have enjoyed for several
reach agreement in civil suit," North County Times (July 28, 2005).
about Buddhist temple expected to draw a crowd," San Diego Union-Tribune (July 30, 2005).
July 28, 2005, Queens, NY: "Spitzer
reverses decision on Hindu Temple Society," Times Ledger: Describes the NY Attorney General's brief filed in the
case involving an attempted hostile takeover of a religious institution.
"The attorney general argues
that the prior mistaken decision of the New York Appellate Court can be reversed," said Becket Fund counsel Roman Storzer.
"And it certainly should, to avoid becoming the first constitutional decision in this nation's history permitting the government
to decide how religious institutions will be run."
28, 2005, Bedminster, NJ: "Church
of the Hills' only option," Letter to the Editor, Courier-News:
The lawsuit filed
by the church is brought under a federal law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which levels the playing
field and requires towns and churches to reach a compromise. When Bedminster failed in its obligations under state and federal
law to take into account the importance of religious institutions in our society, the church was left with no other option
but to protect its rights.Read more about this case here.
July 28, 2005, Flushing, NY: The Office is representing a Temple sued by a mandirasya pachakaha
(a religious employee that prepares offerings to Hindu deities) who is arguing that such individuals and priests are engaged
in a "commercial enterprise" and therefore covered by certain labor laws.
Lawsuit Alleges Temple Mistreated Cooks and Priests," Queens Chronicle (July 28, 2005).
believe that it's going to be thrown out very quickly," said Roman Storzer, a lawyer that is representing the temple. Storzer
added that the labor laws cited in the lawsuit cover commercial, not religious workers. "It's not a restaurant. Nobody comes
in off the street who's not worshipping there," Storzer said.
24, 2005, Bedminster, NJ: "'Mega-churches'
evoking hostility," Courier News at A1 (July 24, 2005):
Storzer said conflicts between
religious institutions and land-use authorities are particularly common in New Jersey for three reasons:
In the nation's most densely populated state, churches don't have the option of building new facilities on the outer fringes
of suburbia, as they do, say, in Atlanta or Dallas. Because they are closer to their neighbors, they are more likely to run
into local opposition."There
are more land-use regulations in New Jersey than, say, in Montana," he said. And the conflicts are bound to increase.
Diversity. The state's pluralistic culture means that more non-mainline religions and/or denominations
are seeking to build or expand religious facilities, thus setting the stage for discrimination. The Hindu Temple and Cultural
Society, for instance, has more than 31 temples in New Jersey.
Abundant land-use laws. In many areas of the country,
the zoning regulations are loose, making it easier for churches to expand or build. But because it is more established, New
Jersey has a host of laws that local officials can use as justification for turning down churches' applications.
July 2005, Queens, NY: Eliot Spitzer, New York State's Attorney General, filed a brief with
the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, arguing that the court should "correct" its earlier erroneous decision permitting
a voting membership to supplant the Trustees of the Hindu Temple Society of North America. That previous order, the Attorney
General's office argues, "is clearly infected with an error of law."
General Sides With Flushing Temple's Board," Queens Chronicle (July 14, 2005):
is a very favorable development," said Roman Storzer, a lawyer for the Becket Fund. "We're happy that these important constitutional
issues are finally being recognized and hope that the position of his office will persuade the court to reconsider these First
Amendment rights.""New York AG Spitzer
Files Brief Supporting Hindu Temple Society," Press Release, The Becket Fund (July 11, 2005):
"The Attorney General argues that the prior mistaken decision of the New York appellate court can be reversed," stated
Becket Fund Of Counsel Roman P. Storzer, "and it certainly should to avoid becoming the first constitutional decision in this
Nation's history permitting the government to decide how religious institutions will be run."(For
more information about the case, read The Hindu America Foundation's Press
Release on its letter amicus curiae submitted in federal court).
14, 2005, Bedminster, NJ: The Church of the Hills challenges Bedminster
Township's refusal to allow the church to expand in order to worship together as one body and to accommodate its growing ministries.
lawsuit filed against Bedminster Township for violating Religious Land Use Act; Township prevents church growth even after
numerous concessions made," Press Release, Law Office of Roman P. Storzer (July 8, 2005)
files suit over vote," Somerset Reporter (July 14, 2005):
"The denial was based on NIMBY
concerns," said Roman Storzer, who has been retained by Church of the Hills. Storzer, who gained experience on religious land
use cases through his work with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said that the denial came even though the church was
willing to negotiate and compromise.""Church
says Bedminster denying right to worship," Courier News, (July 12, 2005).
sues for the right to expand in Bedminster," The Star-Ledger, (July 7, 2005).
24, 2005, San Diego County, CA: The Vietnamese Buddhist Meditation Congregation files for an injunction preventing San
Diego County from ordering small Buddhist group to stop its meditation activity. The assembly's plan for a meditation center
is called "more appropriate for a Grauman's Chinese Theater than Bonsall."
group sues county over cease-and-desist order,� North County Times (June 9, 2005).
have a right to meditate," Letter to the Editor (June 24, 2005).
5, 2005, Camden County, NJ: "Church Property Protected from Eminent Domain Seizure," Press Release,
The Becket Fund (May 5, 2005): "Settlement Reached Between Living Faith Ministries and Camden County Improvement Authority.
The Camden County Improvement Authority has officially agreed not to use its eminent domain power to seize the property of
Living Faith Ministries, the 6,000-member, . . . .":
"We applaud county officials for their willingness
to take a seat at the bargaining table and recognize that the Church's ministry to the community is not inconsistent with
their plans for revitalizing Camden County," said Of Counsel Roman P. Storzer.
Contact the Law Office:
Connecticut Avenue, Northwest
Suite One Thousand
Washington, D.C. 20036
tel (202) 857 9766
fax (202) 857 9799
Storzer is a Washington lawyer who has represented dozens of religious groups on land use cases and is one of the country's
most experienced litigators in this field." Religion Newswriters Association
Mr. Storzer is one "of the country's leading RLUIPA advocates."
Center for State and Local Government Law, Hastings College of law
"The Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: A Constitutional Response to Unconstitutional Zoning Practices,"
9 Geo. Mason L.Rev.
929, 945 (2001), co-written by Roman Storzer and Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., President and General Counsel of The
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Muzzles On the Pulpit,"
National Law Journal (Oct. 18, 2004)"Struggling
As Churches With Neighbors,"
originally published by The Becket Fund for Religious
: A response to Findlaw columnist and notorious church opponent Marci Hamilton, describing five mischaracterizations
of the law and the difficulties endured by churches faced with having their ministries defined not by faith, but by local
Souter Dissent: A Failed Argument," in Church-State
Relations In Crisis; Debating Neutrality (S. Monsma, ed., 2002), co-written by Roman Storzer and Kevin J. Hasson, discussing
Justice Souter's dissenting opinion in Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793 (2000)."An important,
substantial, and accessible book. I hope very much. . . that it will be widely read, in this present time of crisis and change,
by students (including some undergraduates) as well as by the full range of Court observers and others deeply concerned about
the future of the church-state relationship in the United States."�Law & Politics Book Review"When
Land Use Issues Are Also Religious Freedom Issues: The Religious Land Use And Institutionalized Persons Act Of 2000 And The
Four Constitutional Commandments Of Zoning Practices."
FindLaw Legal Commentary (2002), co-written by Roman Storzer and
Anthony R. Picarello, Jr.