Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

St. John's United Church of Christ v. Chicago, City of

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20242
Nos. Nos. 05-4418 et al., (7th Cir., 09/13/2007)

The court upholds the denial of a church's motion for a preliminary restraining order to prevent the relocation of a cemetery in conjunction with plans to renovate Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Eminent domain does not constitute a "land use" regulation subject to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Had Congress wanted to include eminent domain within the Act, it would have said so given the importance of eminent domain as a governmental power affecting land use. In addition, the statute enabling the relocation was facially neutral in regard to religious practices, and there is no evidence to support the claim that religious institutions or practices were being specifically targeted. The church's equal protection claims also failed.