2011 US Code
Title 42 - The Public Health and Welfare
Chapter 21B - RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION (§§ 2000bb - 2000bb-4)
Section 2000bb - Congressional findings and declaration of purposes

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Publication TitleUnited States Code, 2006 Edition, Supplement 5, Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CategoryBills and Statutes
CollectionUnited States Code
SuDoc Class NumberY 1.2/5:
Contained WithinTitle 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 21B - RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION
Sec. 2000bb - Congressional findings and declaration of purposes
Containssection 2000bb
Date2011
Laws in Effect as of DateJanuary 3, 2012
Positive LawNo
Dispositionstandard
Short TitlesReligious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993
Source CreditPub. L. 103-141, §2, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488.
Statutes at Large References107 Stat. 1488
Public Law ReferencesPublic Law 103-141

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42 USC § 2000bb (2011)

§2000bb. Congressional findings and declaration of purposes

(a) Findings

The Congress finds that—

(1) the framers of the Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution;

(2) laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise;

(3) governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

(4) in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) the Supreme Court virtually eliminated the requirement that the government justify burdens on religious exercise imposed by laws neutral toward religion; and

(5) the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests.

(b) Purposes

The purposes of this chapter are—

(1) to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) and Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) and to guarantee its application in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened; and

(2) to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.

(Pub. L. 103–141, §2, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 103–141, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note below and Tables.

Short Title

Section 1 of Pub. L. 103–141 provided that: “This Act [enacting this chapter and amending section 1988 of this title and section 504 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees] may be cited as the ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’.”

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