While syntactically valid, this doesn't work because have_http_status(200)will throw an exception before it gets to the have_http_status(302) .
This doesn't work, but not for the reason you think. Calling have_http_status(200) never raises an exception. It creates a matcher object that the `to` method uses. The ruby || operator (one of few things that can't be overridden) evaluates to the first non falsy thing, so your code is the same as
Rspec (since 3.0) does however have compound / composable matchers (see https://relishapp.com/rspec/rspec-expectations/v/3-6/docs/compound-expectations, http://rspec.info/blog/2014/01/new-in-rspec-3-composable-matchers/)
so expect(response).to have_http_status(200) | have_http_status(302)
should work, as would things like
expect(3).to eq(2) | eq(3)
This works because | and & are overridable methods and have been defined on matchers to mean "create me a new matcher which matches if either argument matches" (or both match in the & case)