Unformatted text preview: First Amendment: Freedom of Religion Settlement in America-- many reasons, including religious Plymouth, Jamestown, Mass. Bay, Rhode Island (Roger Williams) Contrast btw public and private De Tocqueville Robert Bellah Early American Experience Religious Intolerance Established church in 10 of 13 colonies; only Penna/Rhode Island/Delaware had no establishment Madison's arguments against tax assessment "Memorial and Remonstrance" -- 1785 Va. Statute of Religious Freedom--1786 First Amendment--1791 Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses First Amendment: Free Exercise Clause Fear of gov't interference with citizens practicing their religious faith No Court activity until late 1800s 1878--Upheld fed. law banning polygamy 1905--Upheld Mass. law requiring small-pox vaccinations 1925--struck down Oregon law banning kids from attending parochial schools Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940)
Jehovah Witnesses required by state law to obtain license to solicit and proselytize in New Haven, CT Does state law violate 1st & 14th ? YES Court declared Free Exercise Clause involved a fundamental right; applicable to states Mandatory Flag Salute Cases Minersville Sch. Dist. v. Gobitis (1940) Court upheld Penna. law in 1940 on premise that "national unity is the basis of national security" Stone dissent: saw a defenseless minority being coerced by majority West Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette (1943) Overruled Minersville Justice Jackson: "Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters." Changing View of Free Exercise Clause Prior to 1960s, Court applied "secular- legislation" principle to free exercise cases Meant that state law had to serve some secular purpose; & it could not discriminate Warren Court in 1960s became involved in conflicts over secular laws impacting upon certain religious denominations eg., Sunday "blue laws" were upheld New Standard for Free Exercise Emerged from 1963 case involving member of Seventh-Day Adventist church Court held that denial of state benefits violated 1st and 14th Amendments New doctrine required "compelling state interest" be proven before gov't could limit religious freedom "strict scrutiny" of such laws How far should state go in making exceptions for religious freedom?
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) Wisc. law required school attendance until 16 yrs of age; Amish asked to be exempted. Does law infringe on Free Exercise? YES Court found in favor of Amish; said that to comply with law would compel Amish to "perform acts undeniably at odds with... their religious beliefs." Court Limits on Religious Exemptions 1982--required Amish to pay Social Security taxes 1988--refused to block a road-building project in Native American cemetery in CA 1990--Oregon v. Smith: upheld Oregon law prohibiting use of peyote by Native Americans Meant that compelling state interest no longer necessary Congress moves to protect religious freedom 1993--passage of Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) In effect, law sought to overturn Smith and reinstate "compelling interest" test City of Boerne v. Flores (1997) Struck down RFRA Cutter v. Wilkinson (2005)
Congress passed Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (2000) "Does RLUIPA, which prohibits gov't imposing "substantial burden" upon inmates, improperly advance religion?" No Justice Ginsburg (9-0) Provisions of law must be administered neutrally toward different faiths; authorities can also be attentive to security issues while administering law Conclusions on Free Exercise Clause historically has been less contentious than Establishment Clause Court has been through different phases of protection "secular legislative purpose" prior to 1961
"compelling state interest" 1963-1990 modified protection after 1990 Roberts Court may change direction ...
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- Spring '08
- First Amendment to the United States Constitution, free exercise, Separation of church and state, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Seventh-Day Adventist church Court