Liam Ray

Document Type




This Note will argue that by denying certiorari in Stormans v. Wiesman, the Supreme Court missed an important opportunity to provide guidance to the states as to how the Free Exercise Clause applies to the kind of stocking and dispensing regulations adopted by the State of Washington. This Note will further argue from a policy perspective that the approach to these kinds of regulations adopted by the Republic of Ireland (“ROI”) presents the best approach for states to adopt because it provides a balance in terms of respecting the free exercise rights of pharmacists and pharmacy owners with the reproductive rights of the general public. In Part I, this Note will survey the history of the Supreme Court’s Free Exercise Clause jurisprudence, with particular emphasis placed on Employment Division v. Smith and the dramatic changes it made to existing jurisprudence at the time it was decided. In Part II, this Note will consider the Stormans case in detail from the decision of the trial court, through the Ninth Circuit’s reversal, and the ultimate denial of certiorari over the dissent of three justices. In Part III, this Note will examine the approach to this problem taken by ROI, highlighting its relatively uncontroversial history and flexible standards. Finally, in Part IV, this Note will first argue that the Supreme Court should have taken and reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision as inconsistent with precedent and overly skeptical of the factual conclusions of the trial court. Then, it will propose that the ROI approach to these regulations is the best from a policy perspective because it provides the best balance of religious and reproductive rights.



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