Erwin L. RUPERT, Clergyman, Native American Church of the U.S.A., Plaintiff, Appellant, v. DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICES, Defendant, Appellee

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The plaintiff, Mr. Rupert, Pastor of "all-race" Native American Church sued Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, after being denied permit to use eagle feathers in religious ceremonies. Plaintiff argued that denial of permit was a violation of Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make "no law respecting an establishment of religion." District Court granted summary judgment for defendant, and the plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the District Court, holding that refusing to extend exemption to people who are not Native American but seeking to use eagle feathers for religious purposes does not violate the Establishment Clause.


  • Rupert, Erwin L
  • Breyer
  • Selya
  • Cyr
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Native American Church of the U.S.A


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 957 F.2d 32 (1st Cir. 1992)
  • Title 16, Conservation
  • Court case

Contained within

957 Federal Reporter, 2d Series (Book)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


  • 1992
  • 02/19/1992


  • Animals
  • Endangered ecosystems
  • Environmental policy
  • Actions and defenses
  • Freedom of religion
  • Birds
  • Ethnology
  • Equal rights amendments
  • Eagles
  • Ecology
  • Constitutional amendments
  • Constitutional torts
  • Environmental protection
  • Endangered species


  • United States
  • North America


Court case

Physical description

Number of pages: 5; Page Numbers: 32-36

Full Record

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