The Latest: Judge rules religious rites trump animal rights

LOS ANGELES (AP) " The Latest on a legal battle between an animal rights group and a California synagogue (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Just as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur began, a federal judge lifted a temporary restraining order against a California synagogue performing a ritual where chickens are twirled in the air before they're slaughtered.

Judge Andre Birotte Jr. lifted the order Tuesday night. He had granted it last week at the request of an animal rights group called United Poultry Concerns and scheduled a hearing for Thursday. But that would have meant Yom Kippur would be over by the time he ruled, so Birotte moved up the ceremony.

The ritual is typically performed before Yom Kippur, which began Tuesday evening and ends Wednesday evening. It's not clear whether Chabad Irvine would perform it this year at all in spite of the decision.

But the synagogue's attorneys praised the lifting of the order as a victory that safeguards First Amendment rights.

The attorneys for United Poultry Concerns say they will continue with the long-term lawsuit over the practice despite the temporary setback.

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6 p.m.

With Yom Kippur just hours away, lawyers for a California synagogue have filed a motion asking a judge to dissolve a temporary restraining order preventing worshippers from a ritual where chickens are twirled before they're slaughtered.

A federal judge issued the order last week after the animal rights group United Poultry Concerns sued to stop Chabad Irvine of Orange County from carrying out Kaporos with a live chicken.

The judge originally scheduled a hearing on the matter for Thursday, but moved it up to Tuesday after lawyers for Chabad Irvine said that was too late. The ritual is typically done on the eve of Yom Kippur, which starts Tuesday night and ends Wednesday night.

The hearing was continuing after usual court hours on Tuesday night.

The synagogue says the court's decision is the violation of their fundamental religious rights.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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