I’ve been giving a lot of thought about Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), state and federal, since this Spring (with the passage of Mississippi’s own such act) and this week (with the Hobby Lobby case using the federal act).
Recall that we were told that the state act was fine because the federal act was fine.
The more I think about this, the more I think passage of the state version of RFRA this Spring was a very dumb move.
There’s this: The case I’m quoting below, Bourne, involved a church challenging a city’s historic preservation ordinance on the grounds that it was an indirect burden on their exercise of religion.
In 1990, the United States Supreme Court decided Employment Division v. Smith. In that case, individuals were denied unemployment benefits because they were fired for eating peyote. In an opinion by conservative justice Antonin Scalia, the United States Supreme Court held: Of course you can deny unemployment benefits to people fired for eating peyote.