Monday, 27 January 2003

Unprecedented Establishment Clause Challenges?

How Appealing looks at a district court decision overturning the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 on the basis that it violates the establishment clause. A Roanoke Times article describes it as an "unprecedented challenge" to religious freedom.

It seems to me that it's very precedented: specifically, the so-called "Peyote Case" (Employment Division v. Smith, 494 US 872, 1990) and the subsquent case overturning the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which attempted to elevate religious freedom above other constitutional rights contra Smith (City of Boerne v. Flores, 117 S.Ct. 2157, 1998), both had similar findings, and both rejected the "compelling interest" standard that RLUIPA seems to have articulated.