The Religious Freedom Restoration Act Of 1993

736 words - 3 pages

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) is a US federal law that seeks to prevent legislations that burdens the free exercise of religion by an individual. The Act states that the Government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” (Magarian, 2001, p. 1903). Religious issues with regard to legislation had intensified in the 1970s, when the Supreme Court ruled on the Constitutionality; a decisions that would restrict the authority of the federal government to limit religious freedoms of people using “restrictive legislation” (Magarian, 2001, p. 1907).
This, however, changed in the 1980s, ...view middle of the document...

In 1997, part of the law was challenged by the Supreme Court and actually struck down, owing to the fact that it “overstepped the Congress’ power to enforce the Fourth Amendment” (Solove, 1996, p. 461).
This is not the only controversy that has arisen in recent years. Other criticisms have resulted in its being ruled as unconstitutional in state and local jurisdictions, and its jurisdictional relevance only remains at the federal level. In 2006, the Supreme Court ascertained its constitutionality at the federal level in the case of Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, which was on the use of an “otherwise illegal hallucinogenic drug” (Shah, 2008, p. 3). The court demanded that the government demonstrate its compelling interest in the restriction of the use of this drug. Informal controversies have also come up, with some groups, such as atheists, arguing that the federal government, through the enactment of RFRA, is protecting the interest of some religious groups.
The Act has had different religious implications for different individuals and parties in various jurisdictions. For example, questions arise with regard to the use of the Peyote by some members of the society, such as staff members, within an organization....

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