Case: Warner v. City of Boca Raton, 267 F.3d 1223, 1227 (11th Cir. 2001)
Case Synopsis: Decided in 2001, Warner v. City of Boca Raton was a free exercise case tried in federal district court in the Southern District of Florida before Judge Kenneth Ryskamp. It was the first case under the Florida Religious Freedom Act. The trial concerned the Boca Raton Cemetery’s policy that memorials for graves be flush with the grass. The court inquired into whether practices of displaying “vertical” memorials constituted a religious act, and thus deserved religious freedom protection. Judge Ryskamp ruled that displaying vertical memorials was not a religious act. This case module originated in the work of Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, who discusses this case in depth in The Impossibility of Religious Freedom (Princeton, 2nd ed. 2018).
Image of Boca Raton Cemetery, courtesy of Winnifred Fallers Sullivan