Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Spitzer Endorses Religious Freedom

"Governor Eliot Spitzer introduced legislation Monday that would help protect religious freedom in New York," the Poughkeepsie Journal reports.
The proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, modeled after federal legislation, would ensure that state and local laws accommodate important religious practices.

Under the proposed act, all statutes, regulations or other government actions that “substantially burden” religious exercise must be justified by a compelling government interest.

The standard set by his proposed bill was applied nationwide until 1990, noted Spitzer in a press release. At that time the Supreme Court issued a decision indicating that a lower standard should apply.

Since then, federal government and other states such as Conn., R.I., and Fla. adopted statutes reinstating the higher standard in an effort to protect religious liberty.
One wonders whether protected religious practices will include distributing pamphlets at abortion clinics.

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