42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1

Current through P.L. 116-140 (04/28/2020)
Section 2000bb-1 - Free exercise of religion protected
(a) In general

Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b).

(b) Exception

Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person-

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
(c) Judicial relief

A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.

42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1

Pub. L. 103-141, §3, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488.
the term "demonstrates" means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion; and
exercise of religion
the term "exercise of religion" means religious exercise, as defined in section 2000cc-5 of this title.
the term "government" includes a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, and official (or other person acting under color of law) of the United States, or of a covered entity;