City of Boerne v. Flores

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City of Boerne v. Flores
Court U.S. Supreme Court
Citation 521 U.S. 507 (1997)
Date decided 1997

Facts

Congress enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to prohibit the government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of generally applicability unless the government can demonstrate 1) the burden is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and 2) the burden is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling government interest.

Issues

Whether the act exceeds Congress’ power.

Holding

It does.

Rule

Legislation which alters the meaning of the Free Exercise Clause cannot be said to be enforcing the Clause. While Congress may enact such legislation as the RFRA, in an attempt to prevent the abuse of religious freedom, it may not determine the manner in which states enforce the substance of its legislative restrictions.