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University of Michigan Law School

Marbury v. Madison

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How To Apply The Religious Freedom Restoration Act To Federal Law Without Violating The Constitution, Gregory P. Magarian Aug 2001

How To Apply The Religious Freedom Restoration Act To Federal Law Without Violating The Constitution, Gregory P. Magarian

Michigan Law Review

Learned commentators have called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 ("RFRA" or "the Act") "perhaps the most unconstitutional statute in the history of the nation" and "the most egregious violation of the separation of powers doctrine in American constitutional history." In the 1997 case of City of Boerne v. Flores, the Supreme Court struck down the Act in its applications to state and local governments, declaring that "RFRA contradicts vital principles necessary to maintain separation of powers and the federal balance." The Act's applications to federal law, however, survived Boerne, which means that plaintiffs with religious freedom claims ...