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Religion 2 - 1st Amendment Religious Accommodation Congress...

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1 st Amendment & Religious Accommodation “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . .” Q: what is a constitutionally suspect burdening of free exercise of religion? 2 possibilities: 1. Purpose law intended to make exercise more costly, impossible 2. Effect law in fact makes exercise more costly, impossible
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Revolution in our Free Exercise Rights Absolute right to freedom of relig. belief remains As to Relig. required/forbidden conduct: From Sherbert test (Brennan): purpose or effect: a) Law w/ purpose or effect of burdening observance of relig. invalid unless b) Justified by compelling state purpose: public health, safety, order or c) Within state administrative discretion: military, prisons, public lands
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To Smith test (Scalia): Purpose only a) Neutral (“religion-blind”) laws presumed constitutional, regardless of burdens on relig. unless b) Covert discriminatory purpose shown e.g. slaughter laws tailored to relig.
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