Key point 12-02.03. In the City of Boerne case (1997), the Supreme Court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unconstitutional. Other courts have limited this ruling to state and local legislation, and have concluded that the Act continues to apply to federal laws.
In the City of Boerne case, in 1997, the Supreme Court struck down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the ground that Congress exceeded its authority in enacting the law. It is not clear whether the Supreme Court intended to invalidate the Act as applied to federal law, state law, or both. Some courts have concluded that the Supreme Court only intended to invalidate the Act as applied to state and local legislation, and that the Act still applies to federal legislation that burdens the exercise of religion. See, e.g., In re Young, 82 F.3d 1407 (8th Cir. 1996) (the Act prevented federal bankruptcy law from ...
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