Jewish Journal

SF city attorney says circumcision ban unconstitutional

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 5, 2011 | 5:19 pm

Shortly after writing about The Circumcision Wars for the Wall Street Journal, I considered crafted a law review article out of the whole mess. Then I decided that despite interesting First Amendment issues, the question likely would be moot by the time I tried to get the article published.

We’re not there yet, but the case for circumcision bans is shriveling.

First the supporter of a Santa Monica circumcision ban pulled out. Now RNS is reporting that the San Francisco city attorney has concluded that if the ballot measure passes in November, it will immediately be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“San Franciscans cannot be asked to vote on whether to prohibit religious minorities from engaging in a particular religious practice, when the same practice may be performed under nonreligious auspices,” wrote Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart.

In the meantime, a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Muslims and Jews, arguing that city’s cannot regulate a medical procedure allowed by the state, is moving forward in state court.

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