From the Southampton Press:
An attorney representing the East End Eruv Association warned Quogue Village Board members Monday that a denial of its application to create a religious boundary within the municipality would violate the First Amendment rights of Orthodox Jews.
During the hour-long public hearing, attorney Robert Sugarman of the Manhattan firm of Weil, Gotshal and Manges told the estimated 50 people in attendance that there is legal precedence that would support the village’s approval of the boundary, called an eruv. Mr. Sugarman’s law firm is the same one that is representing the East End Eruv Association (EEEA) in the federal civil rights lawsuit that it previously filed against Quogue and Westhampton Beach villages and Southampton Town over the proposed religious boundary.
Specifically, Mr. Sugarman said Monday that the group’s application, which was filed with the village two months ago, notes that the courts have ruled that attaching boundary markers, known as “lechis,” to utility poles in the village could be done without violating the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The clause states that governments cannot give preference to one religion over another.
He added that, if the village were to reject the application, board members would be violating the rights of Orthodox Jews to practice their religion, a move that would violate the Constitution’s religious protections. Continue Reading –>