A New York City health ordinance that requires parents to give written permission before ritual circumcisers can carry out the practice of oral suction might be unconstitutional, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling handed down on Friday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The court handed the constitutional challenge back to a lower court, asking it to apply “strict scrutiny” to the legality of the city’s law regulating the practice known as “metzitzah b’peh,” which is practiced by charedi groups and has also been linked to cases of infant herpes.
The charedi community has hailed the decision as a “great victory,” the Post reported. They sued the city on the grounds that the informed consent rule violated the first amendment and religious liberties, the Post said.
In her ruling, circuit judge Debra Ann Livingston explained that the regulation is “… exclusively targets a religious practice for special burdens” and is not generally applicable because it “pertains to religious conduct associated with a small percentage of HSV infection cases among infants, while leaving secular conduct associated with a larger percentage of such infection unaddressed,” according to the Post.