The Case for Evidence-Based Free Exercise Accommodation: Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is Bad Public Policy

40 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2015

See all articles by Marci A. Hamilton

Marci A. Hamilton

University of Pennsylvania - Fels Institute of Government

Date Written: February 23, 2015

Abstract

After over twenty years, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act formula has proven itself to have three faults as a matter of public policy. First, the title is misleading, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed. Second, it was misleadingly presented as a benevolent law for religious actors who needed protection and whose actions were always benign. Third, its operative provisions contain legalistic, opaque text, which few can discern. The result is that the federal and state RFRAs, along with the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, have yielded and continue to yield unintended, indeed unimaginable, consequences.

Keywords: law & religion, religious freedom, constitution, establishment clause

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Marci A., The Case for Evidence-Based Free Exercise Accommodation: Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is Bad Public Policy (February 23, 2015). Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol. 9, 2015, Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 448, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2568813

Marci A. Hamilton (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Fels Institute of Government ( email )

3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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