Justia U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Non-Profit Corporations

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The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a part of the United States Department of Treasury, froze the assets of Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, Oregon (AHIF-Oregon), a non-profit organization, and designated AHIF-Oregon as a "specially designated global terrorist" pursuant to Executive Order No. 13,224. AHIF-Oregon eventually filed an action asserting that the OFAC violated a variety of its statutory and constitutional rights. The Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon, which the government had not accused of supporting terrorism, challenged certain laws that barred it from providing services to designated entities such as the AHIF-Oregon. With the exception of one claim not at issue on appeal, the district court granted summary judgment to OFAC. The court affirmed the district court's ruling that substantial evidence supported OFAC's redesignation of AHIF-Oregon as a specially designated global terrorist, and the court affirmed the district court's rejection of AHIF-Oregon's due process claims. The court reversed the district court's rejection of AHIF-Oregon's Fourth Amendment claim and remanded for the district to determine what judicial relief, if any, was available. Finally, the court reversed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' First Amendment claim.

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Plaintiffs alleged that defendant, a non-profit Christian organization operating a residential drug treatment program and two homeless shelters, engaged in religious discrimination in providing shelter and residential recovery services in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601-3631. At issue was the extent of the protection afforded by the FHA against religious discrimination. The court affirmed summary judgment for defendant and held that, even assuming that section 3604(a) and (b) applied to defendant's homeless shelters, the FHA's religious exemption permitted the practices challenged by plaintiffs in this case. Therefore, the court expressed no view on the merits of defendant's arguments about the proper scope of section 3604(a) and (b) and the proper definition of "residence" in section 3602(b). The court also affirmed summary judgment on the sex discrimination claim because there was no evidence to establish that defendant treated the men in its parallel drug treatment program any differently than it treated the women and the interference, coercion, or intimidation claim claim because plaintiffs had not exercised a right granted to them by section 3604.