Restoring Free Exercise Protections by Limiting Them: Preventing a Repeat of Smith
Donovan, James M.
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This article addresses the concerns involved with the recently enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how this sets the stage for a revisiting of Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith. This article suggests that full Free Exercise protections can be extended to most contexts if they are withdrawn from others. The goal is to accomplish a principled approach that does not contravene the spirit of the First Amendment. The proposed limiting principles argue collectively that full protections should be reserved for personal, central beliefs and actions about personal conduct whose accommodation does not raise Establishment issues, and which are threatened by new governmental dictates.