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United States Code Annotated. Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare. Chapter 21B. Religious Freedom Restoration. 2000bb-1. Free exercise of religion protected.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 42 USC 2000bb-1

Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 03/2013

Summary:   RFRA provides that the government may not substantially burden an individual's free exercise of religion unless it is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and it is done through the least restrictive means.  For full discussion on how the RFRA analysis implicates the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, see Detailed Discussion on Eagle Act.

Statute in Full:
Held Unconstitutional by
City of Boerne v. Flores, 117 S.Ct. 2157, 2158+, 521 U.S. 507, 507+, 138 L.Ed.2d 624, 624+, 65 USLW 4612, 4612+, 74 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 62, 62+, 70 Empl

§ 2000bb-1. Free exercise of religion protected

Current through P.L. 107-185, approved 5-30-02 (except P.L. 107-171)

(a) In general

Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Exception

Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person--

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

(c) Judicial relief

A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.


(Pub.L. 103-141, § 3, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488.)


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