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Religious Liberty in America at the End of the Century

  • Thomas C. Berg

Extract

The last decade of the 20th century has brought ferment and change in the American constitutional law concerning religious liberty. Change has come on several fronts. Throughout the 1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congress have battled over the scope of the right to free exercise of religion. First the Court narrowed the right dramatically, then Congress responded with a statute “restoring” the previous broader standard, only to see the Court invalidate the statute within four years. In addition, the prospect of full-blown government aid to religiously affiliated schools and other institutions came much closer to reality by 2000, as the Supreme Court grew more approving of such aid and as cities and states dissatisfied with the performance of public schools and government welfare agencies turned to assisting private and “faith-based” organizations as alternatives.

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1. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) (officially composed prayers); Abington Sch. Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) (school-sponsored Bible readings); Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980) (school posting of Ten Commandments).

2. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) (teacher salary supplements); PEARL v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973) (building-maintenance grants to schools and tuition grants); Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 349 (1975) (instructional materials and equipment).

3. Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 409-410 (1963) (exemption from duty of taking alternative job under unemployment compensation statute); Wis. v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) (exemption for Amish parents from duty of sending teenage children to school).

4. Laycock, Douglas, Formal. Substantive, and Disaggregated Neutrality Toward Religion, 39 DePaul L. Rev. 993, 999 (1990).

5. Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981) (university student religious group); Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Sch. Dist., 508 U.S. 384 (1993) (religious community group meeting after school hours); see Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990) (upholding statutory protection of equal access for high-school student religious groups).

6. Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388 (1983) (tax deductions for private-school, including religious-school, tuition); Witters v. Wash. Dept. of Services, 474 U.S. 481 (1986) (grant for disabled student who chose religious college); Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589 (1988) (grants to private, including religious, agencies to fight teenage pregnancy); Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills Sch. Dist., 509 U.S. 1 (1993).

7. See infra part II.

8. See infra part III.

9. See infra part I.

10. For similar diagnoses and more detailed explanations, see Conkle, Daniel O., The Path of American Religious Liberty: From the Original Theology to Formal Neutrality and an Uncertain Future, 75 Ind. L. J. 1 (2000); Lupu, Ira C., The Lingering Death of Separationism, 62 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 230 (1994).

11. See generally Powe, Lucas J., The Warren Court in American Politics (Harv. U. Press 1999); Horwitz, Morton J., The Warren Court and the Pursuit of Justice (U. S.C. Press 1998); Earl M. Maltz, The Chief Justiceship of Warren Burger, 1969-1986 (U. S.C. Press 2000); Lewis, Anthony & Blasi, Vincent, The Burger Court: The Counterrevolution That Wasn 7 (Yale U. Press 1986).

12. Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983).

13. Cf. County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989); Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984).

14. Compare e.g. Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971) with Lemon, 403 U.S. 602.

15. See Conkle, supra n. 10, at 32-35 (offering similar explanation focusing on two aspects of judicial restraint).

16. 494 U.S. 872 (1990).

17. Id. at 888-889.

18. See Lupu, supra n. 10, at 231-232 (offering similar explanation).

19. McConnell, Michael W., Religious Freedom at A Crossroads, 59 U. Chi. L. Rev. 115, 126, 127, 137 (1992).

20. See Conkle, supra n. 10, at 26-32 (offering similar explanations).

21. Laycock, supra n. 4, at 999, 1001. See McConnell, supra n. 19, at 139 (criticizing the Court for replacing separationism not with pluralism and choice but with majoritarianism).

22. This Survey primarily covers developments from 1994 through early 2001. The Journal's most recent survey of religious freedom decisions—though in a different format from this one—ended in 1993, and this Survey picks up at that point. See Esbeck, Carl H., 1993 Survey of Trends and Developments on Religious Liberty in the Courts, 10 J. L. & Relig. 543. Pre-1994 decisions are included only to give context or illustrate trends.

23. Lupu, supra n. 10.

24. 494 U.S. 872, 879, 890 (1990).

25. See infra part I-A.

26. 42 U.S.C. §2000bb-1-4 (1993).

27. Id. at § 2000bb-1 (incorporating the standard of Sherbert, 374 U.S. 398; & Yoder, 406 U.S. 205).

28. 521 U.S. 507, 117 S.Ct. 2157(1997).

29. See Laycock, Douglas, The Remnants of Free Exercise, 1990 S.Ct. Rev. 1, 49.

30. 508 U.S. 520, 547 (1993).

31. Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark, 170 F.3d 359, 366-367 (3d Cir. 1999).

32. Id. at 366.

33. Rader v. Johnston, 924 F. Supp. 1540, 1544, 1545-1546, 1558 (D. Neb. 1996).

34. Keeler v. Mayor & City Council of Cumberland, 940 F. Supp. 879, 886 (D. Md. 1996).

35. Id.

36. Horen v. Commonwealth, 23 Va. App. 735, 479 S.E.2d 553, 560 (Va. App. 1997).

37. Laycock, supra n. 29, at 49.

38. See e.g. Volokh, Eugene, A Common Law Model for Religious Exemptions, 46 Ucla L. Rev. 1465, 1554 (1999). For further exploration of general applicability, see Sansom, Kenneth D., Student Author, Sharing the Burden: Exploring the Space Between Uniform and Specific Applicability in Current Free Exercise Jurisprudence, 77 Tex. L. Rev. 753 (1999).

39. Kissinger v. Bd. of Trustees, 5 F.3d 177, 180 (6th Cir. 1993).

40. Id. at 180 (citing Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 566-567 (1993) (Souter, J., concurring) (also criticizing the hybrid-rights concept as incoherent)). See Esser, William L., Student Author, Religious Hybrids in the Lower Courts: Free Exercise Plus or Constitutional Smoke Screen?, 74 Notre Dame L. Rev. 211 (1999).

41. 165 F.3d 692 (9th Cir. 1999).

42. Thomas v. Anchorage Equal Rights Comm., 220 F.3d 1134 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

43. See Kissinger, 5 F.3d at 180. Another decision rendering the hybrid-rights approach meaningless is Brown v. Hot, Sexy & Safer Prods., 68 F.3d 525, 539 (1st Cir. 1995), where the court refused to find that families' rights were violated when the children were forced to attend a graphic sex-education assembly in public school that offended their religious sensibilities. The court concluded that the hybrid exception was not triggered because the parents had not shown an independent violation of the right to control their children's education. Id. at 533. The Hot, Sexy, & Safer decision shows not only that some courts treat the free-exercise hybrid as adding nothing to each constitutional right, but also that the parental right to control education, in many courts, has little or no force itself.

44. Thomas, 165 F.3d at 704 (citing Souter, J., concurring in Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 567).

45. Id. at 703 (quoting Swanson v. Guthrie Indep. Sch. Dist., 135 F.3d 694, 700 (10th Cir. 1998)). Guthrie, in rejecting a hybrid religion-education claim, required “at least … a colorable showing of infringement of recognized and specific constitutional rights, rather than the mere invocation of a general right such as the right to control the education of one's child.” Swanson, 135 F.3d at 700.

46. See EEOC v. Catholic U., 83 F.3d 455, 461-63 (D.C. Cir. 1996); EEOC v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, 213 F.3d 795, 804-805 & 800 n. * (4th Cir. 2000); Combs v. C. Tex. Annual Conf. of United Methodist Church, 173 F.2d 343, 347-50 (5th Cir. 1999); Gellington v. Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 203 F.2d 1299, 1302-1304 (11th Cir. 2000).

47. Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, 213 F.3d at 801 (music director); see Starkman v. Evans, 198 F.3d 173 (5th Cir. 1999) (lay choir director); Catholic U., 83 F.3d 455 (university canon law professor). The pre-Smith law extended the exception to other positions as well. See e.g. EEOC v. S. W. Baptist Theological Seminary, 651 F.2d 277 (5th Cir. 1981) (seminary faculty).

48. Smith, 494 U.S. at 877.

49. Catholic U., 83 F.3d at 467.

50. See Bollard v. Cal. Province of Socy. of Jesus, 211 F.3d 1331, 1332-1333 (9th Cir. 2000) (Wardlaw, J., dissenting from denial of reh'g en banc).

51. Combs, 173 F.3d at 349; Catholic U., 83 F.3d at 462-463.

52. Bollard v. Cal. Province of Socy. of Jesus, 196 F.3d 940, 950, 951 (9th Cir. 1999).

53. Bollard, 211 F.3d at 1332-1333 (Wardlaw, J., dissenting from denial of reh'g en banc).

54. 521 U.S. 507 (1997).

55. See U.S. Const, amend. XIV, § 1 (“[n]o state shall deny” equal protection of the laws, due process of law, or the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizens (emphasis added)).

56. 141 F.3d 854 (8th Cir. 1998).

57. See e.g. Catholic U., 83 F.3d at 470; Sutton v. Providence St. Joseph Med. Ctr., 192 F.3d 826, 831-833 (9th Cir. 1999) (“[M]ost courts that have considered the issue have concluded that the Supreme Court invalidated RFRA only as applied to state and local law.”) (citations omitted). Id. at 832.

58. See e.g. Sutton, 192 F.3d at 832-833; Kikumura v. Hurley, 242 F.3d 950, 958-959 (10th Cir. 2001). For academic presentations of this position, see Berg, Thomas C., The New Attacks on Religious Freedom Legislation and Why They Are Wrong, 21 Cardozo L. Rev. 415 (1999); Berg, Thomas C., The Constitutional Future of Religious Freedom Legislation, 20 UALR L.J. 715 (1998); Paulsen, Michael Stokes, A RFRA Runs Through It: Religious Freedom and the U.S. Code, 56 Mont. L. Rev. 249 (1995); Volokh, supra n. 38, at 1566.

59. See e.g. Keeler v. Mayor & City of Cumberland, 928 F. Supp. 591, 604-605 (D. Md. 1996). Academic presentations of this position include Hamilton, Marci A., The Religious Freedom Restoration Act Is Unconstitutional, Period, 1 U. Penn. J. Const. L. 1 (1998); Gressman, Eugene & Carmella, Angela C., The RFRA Revision of the Free Exercise Clause, 57 Ohio St. L. J. 65 (1996); Blatnik, Edward J., Student Author, No RFRAF Allowed: The Status of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's Federal Application in the Wake of City of Boerne v. Flores, 98 Colum. L. Rev. 1410 (1998).

60. Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-183, (June 19, 1998) (amending 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)).

61. See e.g. People v. deJonge, 501 N.W. 127 (Mich. 1993); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393 (Minn. 1990); First Covenant Church v. City of Seattle, 840 P.2d 174 (Wash. 1992). See Carmella, Angela C., State Constitutional Protection of Religious Exercise: An Emerging Post-Smith Jurisprudence, 1993 BYU L. Rev. 275.

62. Atty. Gen. v. Desilets, 636 N.E.2d 233 (Mass. 1994).

63. Humphrey v. Lane, 728 N.E.2d 1039 (Ohio 2000).

64. State v. Miller, 549 N.W.2d 235 (Wis. 1996).

65. Humphrey, 728 N.E.2d 1039, 1044-1045 (Ohio 2000) (no “interference with the rights of conscience”); First Covenant Church, 840 P.2d at 185 (religious conscience may not even be “disturbed” unless it is inconsistent with the “peace and safety” of the state. Id. at 186.)

66. Miller, 549 N.W.2d at 239.

67. Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment, Ala. Const., amend. No. 622 (enacted 1998); Arizona Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 41-1493 to 41-1493.02 (West 1999); Connecticut Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Conn. Gen Stat. Ann. § 52-571b (West 1993); Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 761.01 to 761.05 (West 1998); Idaho Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Idaho Code §§ 73-401 to 73-404 (2000); Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 775 III. Comp. Stat. Ann. §§ 35/1 to 35/99 (West 1998); New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act, N.M.S.A. §§ 28-22-1 to 28-22-5 (2000); Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, Okla. St. Ann. tit. 51 §§ 251 to 258 (West 2000); Rhode Island Religious Freedom Restoration Act, R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 42-80.1-1 to 42-80.1-4 (1993); South Carolina Religious Freedom Act, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-32-30 to 1-32-60 (1999); Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §§ 110.001-110.012 (1999).

68. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-32-35 (1999).

69. Texas. Civ. Prac. & Rem. §§ 110.010, 110.011 (1999).

70. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 761.02 (West 2000).

71. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 41.1493-01E(1998).

72. For discussion, see Berg, Thomas C. & Myers, Frank, The Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment: A Lawyer's Guide, 60 Ala. Lawyer 396 (11 1999).

73. See id. at 398 (discussing Alabama amendment). On state constitutional challenges. compare Dolan, Mary Jean, The Constitutional Flaws in the New Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Why RFRAs Don't Work, 31 Loyola-Chi. L. J. 153 (2000) (criticizing Illinois' RFRA under Illinois constitutional principles); with Berg, New Attacks, supra n. 58 at 451-453 (defending state statutes in general).

74. Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1999, H.R. 1691.

75. See e.g. H.R. Rep. No. 106-219, Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1999, 106th Cong., 1st Sess. (July 1, 1999), at 15-25 (majority views) (supporting constitutionality); id. at 37-42 (dissenting views) (questioning constitutionality), available at (http://www.rluipa.org).

76. Id. at 18-24.

77. Pub. L. No. 106-274 (Sept. 24, 2000) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc (2000)).

78. See Lupu, Ira C., The Failure of RFRA, 20 Ualr L. J. 575, 593596 (1998); Lupu, Ira C., Where Rights Begin: The Problem of Burdens on the Free Exercise of Religion, 102 Harv. L. Rev. 933, 943946 (1989).

79. See Berg, Thomas C., What Hath Congress Wrought: An Interpretive Guide to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 39 Vill. L. Rev. 1, 4041 (1994) (citing examples).

80. See e.g. Witters v. State Commn. for the Blind, 771 P.2d 1119, 1123, (Wash. 1989), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 850 (1989) (holding that denying state aid to a blind college student because he would use it to study to become a minister did not violate his free exercise rights because it did not “compel or pressure him to violate his religious beliefs,” and stating that the student simply “chose to become a minister”). Id. at 1123. Moreover, as Judge Posner noted in a RFRA case involving prison regulations, the narrower test would require courts to determine the theological question of whether the conduct was obligatory to the believer. Mack v. O'Leary, 80 F.3d 1175 (7th Cir. 1996) (holding that Muslim inmates need not show that it was religiously obligatory for them to face Mecca while eating or purify themselves with running water beforehand, only that their beliefs motivated such conduct). Id. at 1179.

81. 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-5(7)(A) (2000).

82. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-2(4) (1993) (as amended, defining “exercise of religion” to mean “religious exercise, as defined in § 2000cc-5”).

83. Kikumura, 242 F.3d at 960.

84. For further discussion, see Berg, Thomas C., State Religious Freedom Statutes in Private and Public Education, 32 U. Cal. Davis L. Rev. 531 (1999).

85. See Fleischfresser v. Sch. Dist. 200, 15 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 1994) (reading series); Brown v. Hot, Sexy, and Safer Productions, 68 F.3d 525 (1st Cir. 1995) (sex-education assembly); Curtis v. Sch. Comm. of Falmouth, 652 N.E.2d 580 (Mass. 1995) (condom-distribution program).

86. See e.g. Mozert v. Hawkins County Public Schools, 827 F.2d 1058 (6th Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1066 (1988) (rejecting claim to be free from exposure to objectionable textbooks).

87. Curtis, 652 N.E.2d at 588; Flesichfresser, 15 F.3d at 690.

88. Fleischfresser, 15 F.3d at 690.

89. Chalifoux v. New Caney Ind. Sch. Dist., 976 F. Supp. 659, 667 (S.D. Tex. 1997) (insufficient evidence that rosary served as a gang symbol).

90. Cheema v. Thompson, 67 F.3d 883 (9th Cir. 1995).

91. See Devins, Neal, Fundamentalist Christian Educators v. State: An Inevitable Compromise, 60 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 818 (1992).

92. See e.g. Fuller, David W., Student Author, Public School Access: The Constitutional Right of Home-Schoolers to “Opt In” to Public Education on a Part-Time Basis, 82 Minn. L. Rev. 1599 (1998); Lukasik, Lisa M., Student Author, The Latest Home Education Challenge: The Relationships Between Home-Schools and Public Schools, 74 N.C. L. Rev. 1913 (1996).

93. 942 F. Supp. 511 (W.D. Okla. 1996), aff'd, 135 F.3d 694 (10th Cir. 1998).

94. Swanson 135 F.3d at 699-700; on the hybrid rights discussion, see supra nn. 39-45 and accompanying text.

95. Kaptein v. Conrad Sch. Dist., 931 P.2d 1311 (Mont. 1997).

96. Id., at 1317.

97. 132 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 1997).

98. The author of the opinion, Judge John Noonan, is the author of a major recent book on religious liberty. Noonan, John T., The Lustre of Our Country: The American Experiment in Religious Liberty (U. Cal. Press 1998).

99. The court did not explain why, but heightened scrutiny could have rested on the hybrid of religion and educational rights, or on the fact that the district had no generally applicable rule forbidding home schooling by administrators but merely made an ad hoc decision concerning Peterson.

100. Bob Jones U. v. U.S., 461 U.S. 574, 603-04 (1983).

101. See e.g. Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 899 F.2d 1389, 1399 (4th Cir. 1990).

102. Porth v. Roman Catholic Diocese, 532 N.W.2d 195 (Mich. App. 1995). See Parker-Bigback v. St. Labre Sch., 7 P.3d 361, 364 (Mont. 2000) (holding that school counselor, discharged from employment at Catholic school because of cohabitation with a man, could not state wrongful termination claim to override school's First Amendment rights of religious exercise).

103. See supra part I-A-3.

104. Thomas, 165 F.3d at 712-14.

105. Id. at 714-717. In ruling for the landlord, the Ninth Circuit panel joined two earlier state court decisions, Minn. v. French, 460 N.W.2d 2 (Minn. 1990); & Donahue v. Fair Employment Housing Comm., 2 Cal. Rptr. 2d 32 (Cal. App. 1991), review granted and opinion depublished, 825 P.2d 766 (Cal. 1992). However, as already noted, the Thomas panel decision was vacated en banc because of the lack of a ripe dispute. 220 F.3d 1134 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

106. Atty. Gen. v. Desilets, 636 N.E.2d 233, 238 (Mass. 1994).

107. Swanner v. Anchorage Equal Rights Comm., 874 P.2d 274, 282-284 (Alaska 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 979 (1994). This reasoning provoked a strong dissent by Justice Thomas from the denial of certiorari.

108. Smith v. Fair Empl. & Hous. Commn., 913 P.2d 909, 925-929 (Cal. 1996) (plurality opinion of Werdegar, J.).

109. Smith, 913 P.2d at 931 (Mosk, J., concurring).

110. See e.g. Anders, Christopher & Saxe, Rose A., Effect of Statutory Religious Freedom Strict Scrutiny Standard on the Enforcement of Local Civil Rights Laws, 21 Cardozo L. Rev. 663 (1999) (ACLU representatives).

111. For general discussion of the competing interests, see e.g. Berg, Thomas C., Religious Speech in the Workplace: Harassment or Protected Speech?, 22 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Policy 959, 962965 (1999).

112. 61 F.3d 650 (8th Cir. 1995).

113. Id. at 655-656, 658-659. See Venters v. City of Delphi, 123 F.3d 956 (7th Cir. 1997) (police chief would violate both Establishment Clause and Title VII if he suggested that dispatcher should attend church or suffer adverse job consequences).

114. White House Press Release, Guidelines on Religious Exercise and Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace, § 1-A (Aug. 14, 1997), available at 1997 WL 475412 (White House) and at (http://www.onr.naw.mil/onr/Guidelines.htm.).

115. Id. §§ 1B(2); 1A(3)(ex. 3).

116. See Guidelines on Harassment Based on Race, Color, Religion, Gender, National Origin, Age, or Disability, 58 Fed. Reg. (1993).

117. Id. at § 1609.1(b)(1).

118. Brown Transp. Co. v. Pa. Human Rights Commn. 578 A.2d 555 (Pa. Cṁmw. 1990).

119. Id. at 562.

120. Title VII, § 701(j), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(j).

121. Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (1977); Ansonia Bd. of Educ. v. Philbrook, 479 U.S. 60 (1986).

122. 58 F.3d 1337 (8th Cir. 1995).

123. E.g. Sen. 1124, 105th Cong. (1997).

124. Lupu, supra n. 78, at 591.

125. See Sen. Res. No. 103-11, 103d Cong., 1st Sess. 9-11 (1993) (reprinted in 1993 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1892).

126. Lupu, supra n. 78, at 591.

127. See id. at 608-615, 617 (summarizing bases for denials of relief in numerous cases).

128. Estep v. Dent, 914 F. Supp. 1462 (W.D. Ky. 1996), aff'd, 82 F.3d 417 (6th Cir. 1996) (rule requiring prisoner to cut hair locks); Lewis v. Scott, 910 F. Supp. 282 (E.D. Tex. 1995), rev'd, 127 F.3d 33 (5th Cir. 1997) (rule applied to forbid Muslim prisoner from growing 1/4 inch beard); Luckette v. Lewis, 883 F. Supp. 471 (D. Ariz. 1995).

129. Sasnett v. Sullivan, 91 F.3d 1018 (7th Cir. 1996) (rule against wearing jewelry applied to forbid prisoners from wearing crucifixes), vacated on other grounds and remanded, 521 U.S. 1114 (1997); Alameen v. Coughlin, 892 F. Supp. 440 (E.D.N.Y. 1995) (rule applied to forbid Muslim prisoners from displaying beads); Campos v. Coughlin, 854 F. Supp. 194 (S.D.N.Y. 1994) (rule applied to forbid Santeria prisoners from wearing Orisha beads).

130. Jolly v. Coughlin, 76 F.3d 468 (2d Cir. 1996) (screening test for latent tuberculosis violated Rastafarian's belief against taking “artificial substances” into body);

131. Lawson v. Dugger, 844 F. Supp. 1538, 1542 (S.D. Fla. 1994).

132. Carty v. Farrelly, 957 F. Supp. 727, 741 (D.V.I. 1997).

133. Mockaitis v. Harcleroad, 104 F.3d 1522 (9th Cir. 1997).

134. Id. at 1530.

135. The evidence is summarized in Laycock, Douglas, Stale RFRAs and Land Use Regulation, 32 U. Cal. Davis L. Rev. 755 (1999).

136. See e.g. Intl. Church of Foursquare Gospel v. City of Chi. Heights, 955 F. Supp. 878, 880 (N.D. Ill. 1996).

137. Stuart Circle Parish v. Bd. of Zoning App., 946 F. Supp. 1225 (E.D. Va. 1996);Jesus Ctr. v. Farmington Hills Zoning Bd. of App., 544 N.W.2d 698, 704 (Mich. App. 1996); W. Presbyterian Church v. Bd. of Zoning Adjustment, 862 F. Supp. 538, 546 (D.D.C. 1994). But see Daytona Rescue Mission v. City of Daytona Beach, 885 F. Supp. 1554,1556 (M.D. Fla. 1995) (no substantial burden when church had not yet located but was seeking approval for a shelter program in anticipation of locating).

138. See e.g. Korean Buddhist Dae Won Sa Temple v. Sullivan, 953 P.2d 1315, 1344-1345 n. 31 (Haw. 1998) (zoning variance system created system of individualized exceptions from general zoning law); Keeler v. City of Cumberland, 940 F. Supp. 879, 886 (D. Md. 1996) (landmark preservation ordinance “has in place a system of individual exemptions”).

139. See Laycock, supra n. 135, at 770-783 (summarizing statistical and anecdotal evidence).

140. 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc (2000).

141. 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-a2(C) (2000).

142. 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-(b)(3)(A-B) (2000).

143. 114 S. Ct. 2481 (1994).

144. Id. at 2491, 2493.

145. Id. at 2493.

146. Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty v. Vladeck, 938 F. Supp. 1466 (D. Minn. 1996).

147. See Grumet v. Pataki, 93 N.Y.2d 66 (N.Y. 1999), cert. denied, 120 S. Ct. 363 (1999).

148. 212 F.3d 1084 (8th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 121 S. Ct. 1483 (2001).

149. 403 U.S. 602 (1971).

150. Young, 141 F.3d at 862-863.

151. Catholic University, 83 F.3d at 470 (quotation omitted). Other courts have assumed that RFRA is constitutional as applied to federal law, without ultimately deciding the question. Sutton, 192 F.3d at 833-834; Adams v. Commr., 170 F.3d 173, 175 (3d Cir. 1999); Alamo v. Clay, 137 F.3d 1366, 1368 (D.C. Cir. 1998); U.S. v. Grant, 117 F.3d 788, 792 n. 6 (5th Cir. 1997).

152. Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 250 (1990).

153. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962).

154. Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992).

155. Jones v. Clear Creek Indep. School Dist., 977 F.2d 963, 972 (5th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 967(1993).

156. See Students Challenge Ban on Prayer at Graduation, N.Y. Times A14 (May 26, 1993.

157. Doe v. Duncanville Indep. Sch. Dist., 70 F.3d 402, 406-407, 412 (5th Cir. 1995).

158. 120 S. Ct. 2266 (2000).

159. Id. at 2284-2285 (Rehnquist, C.J., dissenting).

160. Id. at 2276 & 2283 (quoting Bd. of Regents v. Southworth, 120 S. Ct. 1346, 1357 (2000)). In Southworth, the Court generally upheld a state university's right to use compulsory student fees to fund student groups on a viewpoint-neutral basis, but it disapproved of specific instances where the university used a student referendum to determine which groups should receive funding. Id.

161. Adler v. Duval County Sch. Bd., 206 F.3d 1070 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (upholding commencement-speaker election that allowed speaker to choose message, and in application produced both invocations and secular messages), vacated, 531 U.S. 801 (2000).

162. Doe v. Madison Sch. Dist. No. 321, 147 F.3d 832, 836 & n.7 (9th Cir. 1999) (quotation omitted).

163. Doe v. Madison Sch. Dist. No. 321, 177 F.3d 789 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc). The graduation of objecting plaintiffs often makes such cases moot. See Harris v. Joint Sch. Dist. No. 241, 41 F.3d 447 (9th Cir. 1994), vacated, 515 U.S. 1154 (1995).

164. Chandler v. James, 958 F. Supp. 1550 (M.D. Ala. 1997) (findings of fact and conclusions of law); Chandler v. James, 985 F. Supp. 1062 (M.D. Ala. 1997) (text of permanent injunction).

165. See Sack, Kevin, In South, Prayer Is A Form of Protest, N.Y. Times A9 (11 8, 1997); Sack, Kevin, Alabama Governor's Race Tests Strength of Christian Conservatives, N.Y. Times A12 (05 19, 1998).

166. Chandler v. James, 180 F.3d 1254 (11th Cir. 1999), vacated, 120 S. Ct. 2714 (2000).

167. Chandler v. Siegelman, 230 F.3d 1313 (11th Cir. 2000).

168. Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. § 4071-4074 (1984) (upheld in Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990)) (high school clubs); Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981) (groups at state university).

169. Lamb's Chapel v. Ctr. Moriches Sch. Dist., 508 U.S. 384 (1993).

170. Hsu v. Roslyn Free Sch. Dist., 85 F.3d 839 (2d Cir. 1996).

171. See e.g. Paulsen, Michael Stokes, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Limited Public Forum: Unconstitutional Conditions on “Equal Access” for Religious Speakers and Groups, 29 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 653, 668 (1996) (noting this “recurrent problem”).

172. Paulsen, Michael Stokes, How Yale Law School Trivializes Religious Devotion, 27 Seton Hall. L. Rev. 1259 (1997).

173. Hsu, 85 F.3d at 858.

174. Lamb's Chapel, 508 U.S. at 393, 396.

175. 127 F.3d 207 (2d Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1074 (1998).

176. Id. at 215.

177. Id. at 214. The court did not rely on a potentially religion-neutral ground for allowing the exclusion of the church: that it sought to occupy the auditorium every Sunday and thus might have foreclosed too many other applications.

178. Full Gospel Tabernacle v. Community Sch. Dist. 27, 164 F.3d 829 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam), cert. denied, 119 S. Ct. 2395 (1999). A district court in New York did require a school district to allow a worship service after hours when it had already allowed a community “talent show” with many religious presentations. Liberty Christian Ctr. v. City Sch. Dist. of Watertown, 8 F. Supp. 2d 176 (N.D.N.Y. 1998).

179. Good News Club v. Milford C. Sch., 202 F.3d 502 (2d Cir. 2000), rev'd, 121 S.Ct. 2093.

180. Good News/Good Sports Club v. Sch. Dist., 28 F.3d 1501, 1505-1507 (8th Cir. 1994).

181. Good News Club v. Milford C. Sch., 121 S.Q. 2093 (2001).

182. 515 U.S. 753 (1995).

183. Compare id. at 760-770 (plurality opinion of Scalia, J., for four justices) with id. at 772777 (O'Connor, J., concurring, for three justices).

184. Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984) (permitting Christmas display including crèche with reindeer and snowmen); County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989) (striking down crèche displayed alone in one setting, but upholding Christmas tree and menorah displayed together in another).

185. ACLU of N.J. v. Schundler, 104 F.3d 1435 (3d Cir. 1997).

186. County of Allegheny, 492 U.S. at 635-636 (O'Connor, J., concurring).

187. Schundler, 104 F.3d at 1447-1450.

188. Id. at 1450.

189. Id. at 1450-1451.

190. ACLU of N.J. v. Schundler, 168 F.3d 92 (3d Cir. 1999).

191. See e.g. Lynch, 465 U.S. at 726 (Blackmun, J., dissenting).

192. See e.g. id. at 716 (Brennan, J., dissenting); County of Allegheny, 492 U.S. at 630 (O'Connor, J., dissenting).

193. ACLU of Ohio v. Capitol Square Rev. Bd., 210 F.3d 703, 726 (6th Cir. 2000).

194. 243 F.3d 289, 300 (6th Cir. 2001) (en banc).

195. Id. at 305.

196. 403 U.S. 602 (1971).

197. ACLU of Ohio, 243 F.3d at 308.

198. Id. at 302. The court also quoted, as evidence that the motto had a secular purpose, the statutory statements for several other “official” state symbols, found next to the motto in the Ohio code. See id. at 307 (quoting, among others, Ohio Rev. Code § 5.071

(‘Isotelus, a genus of extinct marine anthropod of the class trilobita, that lived in the seas that covered Ohio during the ordovician period, about four hundred forty million years ago, and represented by the largest known complete trilobite, collected at Huffman dam in Montgomery county, is hereby adopted as the official invertebrate fossil of the state’);

Ohio Rev. Code § 5.08 “(‘The canned, processed juice and pulp of the fruit of the herb Lycopersicon esculentum, commonly known as tomato juice, is hereby adopted as the official beverage of the state’)”).

In the summer of 2000, Colorado's school board voted to encourage public school districts to post “In God We Trust” in their facilities. The promised legal challenge to such postings would raise the issue whether that motto, though upheld in other contexts, was nevertheless impermissible in the schools, a context that the Court regards as particularly sensitive.

199. Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983).

200. See e.g. Broadway, Bill, Holy War in the House; Bias Alleged After Catholic Passed Over for Chaplain, Wash. Post B9 (02 19, 2000).

201. Elaine S. Povich, New Flap Involves House Chaplain, Newsday A42 (April 14, 2000).

202. Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980).

203. See Johnson, Dirk, Schools Seeking to Skirt Rules That Bar 10 Commandments, N.Y. Times A24 (02 27, 2000).

204. Suhre v. Haywood County. N.C., 55 F. Supp. 2d 384 (W.D.N.C. 1999) (upholding Commandments placed in display with large statute of Lady Justice).

205. Harvey v. Cobb County, 811 F. Supp. 669, 672 (N.D. Ga. 1993), aff'd, 15 F.3d 1097 (11th Cir. 1994).

206. Sate, ex rel. James v. ACLU of Ala., 711 So. 2d 952 (Ala. 1998).

207. See Alabama Freethought Assn. v. Moore, 893 F. Supp. 1522 (N.D. Ala. 1995). The courts in the North Carolina and Georgia cases had reached the opposite conclusion. Suhre v. Haywood County. N.C., 131 F.2d 1083 (4th Cir. 1997) (resident had citizen standing); Harvey, 811 F. Supp. at 673-676 (lawyer had citizen standing because his practice regularly brought him into contact with the Commandments, and other plaintiff had standing as municipal taxpayer).

208. See supra nn. 1-3 & accompanying text.

209. Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589, 615 (1988).

210. See e.g. Lemon, 403 U.S. at 619-620.

211. Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388, 399-400, 401 (1983); Witters v. Dept. of Services, 474 U.S. 481, 488 (1986)).

212. Mueller, 463 U.S. 388; Witters, 474 U.S. 481; Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills Sch. Dist., 509 U.S. 1 (1993).

213. 515 U.S. 819 (1995).

214. Id. at 839-842.

215. Id. at 846-847, 850 (O'Connor, J., concurring).

216. 521 U.S. 203 (1997).

217. Grand Rapids Sch. Dist. v. Ball, 473 U.S. 373 (1985) (Mich.); Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402(1985) (N.Y.).

218. Agostini, 117 S.Ct. at 2013 (emphasis added).

219. 120 S.Ct. 2530 (2000).

220. Id. at 2556, 2557, 2562 (O'Connor concurring). One other column of the separationist doctrinal structure is substantially undermined by Mitchell. Justice Thomas's plurality opinion vigorously attacks the doctrine under which aid to “pervasively sectarian” religious schools, even aid limited to secular classes and functions, was presumed to be unconstitutional because those limits would be too hard to police in a pervasively religious environment. The Mitchell plurality accuses the doctrine of “reserv[ing] special hostility for those who take their religion seriously, who think that their religion should affect the whole of their lives.” 120 S.Ct. at 2551. The plurality also traces the roots of the concept to the anti-Catholicism of the mid- to late 1800s, when “sectarian” was a code word for “Catholic”: Thomas writes that “hostility to aid to pervasively sectarian schools has a shameful pedigree that we do not hesitate to disavow.” Id. at 2551. Justice O'Connor's concurrence does not definitively reject the “pervasively sectarian” category, but it does say that “such presumptions of indoctrination are normally inappropriate when evaluating [the effect of] neutral school-aid programs under the Establishment Clause.” Id. at 2567.

221. Id. at 2558, 2559.

222. See id. at 2572 (Souter, J., dissenting, joined by Stevens, J., & Ginsburg, J.).

223. Simmons-Harris v. Goff, 711 N.E.2d 203 (Ohio 1999) holding that the Cleveland program violated the state constitution's “single subject” rule); Jackson v. Benson, 578 N.W.2d 602 (Wis. 1998), cert. denied, 119 S.Ct. 467 (1998).

224. Wilgoren, Jodi, Judge Says Cleveland Vouchers Violate Church-State Separation, N.Y. Times A1 (12 21, 1999).

225. Simmons-Harris v. Zelman, 234 F.3d 945 (6th Cir. 2000). The court held that the Ohio Supreme Court holding on the Establishment Clause was not preclusive, because it was “not essential to the judgment” given that the Ohio court struck down the program on other grounds; id. at 961.

226. Id. at 970. The court gave no evidence to support this generalization.

227. See e.g. Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388 (1983). The court therefore upheld the ruling of the district court, which had caused great consternation by first enjoining the program a week before school was to start, and then staying its injunction during the school year; see Belluck, Pam, A Judge Revises His Order, Allowing Vouchers For Now, N.Y. Times A7 (08 28, 1999).

228. Strout v. Albanese, 178 F.3d 57, 60-64 (1st Cir. 1999); Bagley v. Raymond Sch. Dept., 728 A.2d 127, 138-147 (Me. 1999).

229. See e.g. Jackson v. Benson, cert. denied, 525 U.S. 997 (1998); Andrews v. Vermont, cert. denied, 120 S.Ct. 626 (1999); Strout v. Albanese, cert. denied, 120 S.Q. 329 (1999); Bagley v. Raymond Sch. Dept., cert. denied, 120 S.Ct. 364 (1999).

230. See e.g. Viteritti, Joseph P., Choosing Equality: School Choice, the Constitution, and Civil Society 148154 (Brookings Institution Press 1999).

231. See Wendtland, Linda S., Student Author, Beyond the Establishment Clause: Enforcing Separation of Church and State Through State Constitutional Provisions, 71 Va. L. Rev. 625, 631634 (1985).

232. Id.

233. See Strout, 178 F.3d at 59; Bagley, 728 A.2d at 130 (both quoting 20-A.M.R.S.A. § 2951(2)).

234. Chittenden Town Sch. Dist. v. Vt. Dept. of Educ, 738 A.2d 539, 549 (Vt. 1999) (applying Vt. Const, ch. 1, art. 3).

235. Bush v. Holmes, 767 So.2d 668, 671 (Fla. Dist. App. 2000); see Pressly, Sue Ann & Cooper, Kenneth J., School Voucher Plan Struck Down; Florida to Appeal Judge's Ruling, Wash. Post A1 (03 15, 2000).

236. Bush, 767 So.2d at 671.

237. Simmons-Harris v. Goff, 711 N.E.2d 203 (Ohio 1999). The court did invalidate the legislation on the unrelated ground that it violated the state's “single subject” rule. The terms of the program were reenacted to cure the defect.

238. Goff, 711 N.E.2d at 211-212

239. Jackson, 578 N.W.2d 602, 620.

240. See supra nn. 24-30 and accompanying text.

241. Peter v. Werl, 155 F.3d 992 (8th Cir. 1998).

242. Hartmann v. Stone, 68 F.3d 973 (6th Cir. 1995).

243. Strout, 178 F.3d at 65; Bagley, 728 A.2d at 134; Chittenden, 738 A.2d at 563.

244. Strout, 178 F.3d at 65; Bagley, 728 A.2d at 134-135.

245. Strout, 178 F.3d at 65.

246. See Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 543 (plurality opinion of Kennedy, J., for two justices). Other recent decisions rejecting the claim that denial of equal benefits burdens religious freedom include Niewenhuis v. Delavan-Darien Sch. Dist., 995 F. Supp. 855 (E.D. Wis. 1998) (no burden under Free Exercise Clause); Goodall v. Stafford County Sch. Bd., 60 F.3d 168 (4th Cir. 1995) (no burden under RFRA).

247. Columbia Union College v. Clarke, 159 F.3d 151 (4th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 527 U.S. 1013 (1999).

248. Columbia Union also introduced issues that later came to fuller discussion in Mitchell v. Helms. The Fourth Circuit's reliance on the “pervasively sectarian” category prompted Justice Thomas, dissenting from the denial of certiorari, to criticize the category as “invidious religious discrimination” 119 S.Ct. at 2358, which he later expanded in Mitchell v. Helms into his attack on the doctrine's “bigotry.” 120 S.Ct. at 2551-2552 (opinion of Thomas, J.). Columbia Union's disapproval of the cash grants could rest on the distinction that they went directly to the school instead of through parents, although, again as the Mitchell plurality pointed out, a per-student direct grant has the same economic nature as a voucher channeled through parent choice. Id.

249. Burgett, Timothy S., Student Author, Government Aid to Religious Social Service Providers: The Supreme Court's “Pervasively Sectarian” Standard, 75 Va. L. Rev. 1077, 10801087 (1989).

250. McConnell, Michael W., Political and Religious Disestablishment, 1986 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 405, 421422.

251. Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589 (1988).

252. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. § 604a(c) (1996).

253. Id. at 42 U.S.C. § 604a(b) (1996).

254. Id. at 42 U.S.C. § 604a(d), (f) (1996).

255. Id. at 42 U.S.C. § 604a(e), (g) (1996).

256. Id. at 42 U.S.C. § 604a(j) (1996).

257. See supra nn. 219-222 and accompanying text. For a constitutional defense of charitable choice by one of its creators, see Esbeck, Carl H., A Constitutional Case for Governmental Cooperation with Faith-Based Social Service Providers, 46 Emory L. J. 1 (1997); for the contrary position, see Brownstein, Alan, Constitutional Questions about Charitable Choice in Welfare Reform and Faith-Based Organizations 219 (Davis, Derek & Hawkins, Barry eds., J.M. Dawson Inst, of Church-State Stud. 1999).

258. See e.g. Reaves, Jessica, Why Bush's Faith-based Initiative may Be Headed for Purgatory, at (http:/Avww.time.com/time/nation/0,8816,102150,00.html) (04 1, 2001).

259. 22 U.S.C. § 6401 (1998) et seq.

260. Executive Summary: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 13 (http://www.religionandpolicy.org/news-archivepress/2000-05-cirf-eport-main-pdf) (10 29, 2000) (quoting Sen. Don Nickles, R-OK).

261. Id.

262. Id.

263. Id. at 25-26.

264. Id. at 16-17.

265. Id. at 18-19.

Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas Law School (Minneapolis); author of The State and Religion in a Nutshell (West 1998); co-author of Michael W. McConnell, John H. Garvey, & Thomas C. Berg, Religion and the Constitution (Aspen, forthcoming spring 2002). Thanks to Sandra Hagood for excellent research assistance and substantive comments.

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