Free Exercise Religious State Laws Govt Federal Exception

Front 5D. Religion Clauses: Free Exercise Clause

A law that facially targets free exercise will be unconstitutional

Allegheny Courthouse -- NOT OK: nativity on 2nd floor; OK: frosty, star of david, and Christmas tree on sidewalk outside

Govt can't punish someone on the basis of their religious beliefs, nor can it find religious beliefs to be false

No religious oaths for federal govt jobs

General Test:

(1) sincerely-held religious belief? (2) burdened by state regulation?

If yes, state must show (3) requirement/regulation is necessary to important state goal, and (4) exception would substantially hinder the fulfillment of that goal

Oregon v. Smith: no free exercise exception when related to generally applicable (criminal) laws [smoking peyote]

RFRA: SS for federal laws burdening free exercise (legislative overrule of Smith)

New: employment laws not applicable to hiring/firing of clergy

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