On November 30, 1987, attorneys for the parties presented their oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court.
Andrew J. Pincus, Assistant to the Solicitor General, argued for petitioner Lyng, and Marylin Miles, then from California Indian Legal Services represented the respondents, Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association.
In this session, as is quite common in appellate hearings, several members of the Court interrupted the attorneys during their oral presentations. The justices asked them about facts in the case and which line of precedents should be followed. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was to write the majority opinion, indicated her view that Lyng was similar to Bowen v. Roy. On the other hand, Justice Brennan, who wrote a dissent asked about Sherbert, Thomas, and Hobbie.
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