Are Christians More Likely to Invoke RFRA—and Win—than Other Religions since Hobby Lobby?

12 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2020

See all articles by Stephen Cranney

Stephen Cranney

Institute for the Studies of Religion, Baylor University

Date Written: September 22, 2020

Abstract

In popular discourse, RFRA is often framed as a tool used by religious-majority Christians to extract special accommodations. Such framing raises a series of related questions: which religious traditions are actually using RFRA in religious liberty cases? And which religious traditions tend to be more successful in such cases? Using a dataset of post-Hobby Lobby RFRA cases, these questions are explored using a series of statistical analyses. No evidence is found of a “Christian effect,” as Christians are no more likely to win RFRA cases than other religious traditions. Comporting with prior findings that religious liberty arguments in general are used more by minority faiths, RFRA is disproportionately used by smaller New Religious Movements, Muslims, and Native American religious traditions. Explicitly secular parties are less likely to invoke RFRA, and they are also less likely to be successful in their RFRA cases.

Keywords: RFRA, Law, Religious Freedom, Christianity, Religious Minorities, Islam, Native American Religions

Suggested Citation

Cranney, Stephen, Are Christians More Likely to Invoke RFRA—and Win—than Other Religions since Hobby Lobby? (September 22, 2020). Mercer Law Review Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3697322

Stephen Cranney (Contact Author)

Institute for the Studies of Religion, Baylor University ( email )

Waco, TX 76798
United States

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