Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – through its Institute for Public Affairs – expressed its disappointment with the ruling of a federal appellate court upholding a lower court decision which found New York State’s kosher food consumer protection laws unconstitutional.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a district court ruling that the laws, designed to protect New Yorkers who seek to purchase kosher food products from fraud, were a violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause since they empowered the state to interpret and enforce religious strictures.
IPA director, Nathan Diament, issued the following statement in the wake of the appellate court ruling:
The Orthodox Union is disappointed with the Court of Appeals decision. These laws are not, as Judge Gershon had asserted, designed to further or endorse religion, they are designed to protect New Yorkers who seek to purchase kosher food – often priced at a premium – from fraud. This is something that all consumers are entitled to have the state protect them from.
We appreciate the efforts of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and our counsel Nathan Lewin in defending the attack on these laws and we look forward to working with them to ensure that New York’s consumer citizens are protected from fraud and deceit in the kosher marketplace.