Religious Freedom Restoration Act

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The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, is a federal law requiring strict scrutiny to be used by courts in reviewing burdens on the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment. RFRA was passed in 1993 in response to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Employment Div. v. Smith (1990), which made it harder for people to challenge restrictions on their exercise of religion.

In City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the RFRA to the extent it applied against the states. Congress reacted by passing the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in 2000.