42 U.S.C. § 2000cc

Current through P.L. 116-21 (6/12/2019)
Section 2000cc - Protection of land use as religious exercise
(a) Substantial burdens
(1) General rule

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution-

(A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
(2) Scope of application

This subsection applies in any case in which-

(A) the substantial burden is imposed in a program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability;
(B) the substantial burden affects, or removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability; or
(C) the substantial burden is imposed in the implementation of a land use regulation or system of land use regulations, under which a government makes, or has in place formal or informal procedures or practices that permit the government to make, individualized assessments of the proposed uses for the property involved.
(b) Discrimination and exclusion
(1) Equal terms

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that treats a religious assembly or institution on less than equal terms with a nonreligious assembly or institution.

(2) Nondiscrimination

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination.

(3) Exclusions and limits

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that-

(A) totally excludes religious assemblies from a jurisdiction; or
(B) unreasonably limits religious assemblies, institutions, or structures within a jurisdiction.

42 U.S.C. § 2000cc

Pub. L. 106-274, §2, Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803.

SHORT TITLEPub. L. 106-274, §1, Sept. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 803, provided that: "This Act [enacting this chapter and amending sections 1988, 2000bb-2 and 2000bb-3 of this title] may be cited as the 'Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000' ".

demonstrates
The term "demonstrates" means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.
land use regulation
The term "land use regulation" means a zoning or landmarking law, or the application of such a law, that limits or restricts a claimant's use or development of land (including a structure affixed to land), if the claimant has an ownership, leasehold, easement, servitude, or other property interest in the regulated land or a contract or option to acquire such an interest.
practices
The term "practices" means design, financing, permitting, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and other practices that contribute to achieving zero-net-energy buildings or facilities.
program or activity
The term "program or activity" means all of the operations of any entity as described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 2000d-4a of this title.