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Constitutional Law

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2014

Religious freedom

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Too Strict?, Richard B. Collins Jan 2014

Too Strict?, Richard B. Collins

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Should the strict scrutiny standard govern judicial review of claims that government has burdened religious freedom? American law’s patchwork of rules applies that demanding standard to some claims but denies any meaningful review to others. A major difficulty is that most claims alleging denial of religious freedom depend on beliefs that cannot be reviewed by secular courts. Claims based on allegations alone shift the burden to the defending government. Strict scrutiny purports to make justification very difficult; governments are supposed to lose most cases. A second defect of the test in religious freedom cases is its failure to consider harm …