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main_rluipa
  • Background
  • Scholarship
  • Media
  • Cases
  • Resources

Background

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act was passed by Congress on July 27, 2000, and was signed by President Clinton on September 22, 2000. Its language was drawn from a similar bill (the “Religious Liberty Protection Act”) offered in Congress in 1998 and again in 1999.

The following documents will provide the reader/researcher with detailed additional information about the law:

  • The full text of The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
  • President Clinton’s statement upon signing the law, September 22, 2000
  • All Bill Summary & Status Info: House, Senate
  • Bill Status: House, Senate
  • Cosponsors: House, Senate
  • Legislative History: House (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Bill Report 106-219), Senate
  • Hearings:
    • The Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on May 12, 1999, on HR 1691 (“Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1999″); on June 16 and July 14, 1998 on HR 4019 (“Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1998″); and a series of hearings on July 14, 1997, February 26, 1998 and on March 26, 1998 (“Protecting Religious Freedom After City of Boerne v. Flores”) The committee also held an earlier, more general hearing, on July 23, 1996 (“Legislation to Further Protect Religious Freedom”). In 1995, the subcommittee held a series of field hearings on “Religious Liberty and the Bill of Rights” on June 8, June 10, June 23, July 10 and July 14.
    • The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on June 23 and September 9, 1999 on “Issues Relating to Religious Liberty Protection, and Focusing on the Constitutionality of a Religious Protection Measure.” (U.S. Government Printing Office document 67-066.)
    • The Senate Judiciary Committee website offers the prepared statements of Senators and witnesses at both the June 23, 1999 hearing and the September 9, 1999 hearing, but the site does not appear to be well maintained. The better option is probably to access the full transcript contained in the GPO document referenced above even though the file sizes are very large and they will take quite a while to download on a dialup connection.
    • On June 23, 1998, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on S.2148, the “Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1998,” which, with modifications, later became RLUIPA. The Committee web site posts the prepared statements of Senators and witnesses at the hearing.
    • On October 1, 1997, the Senate Judiciary Committee also held oversight hearings on “Congress’ constitutional role in protecting religious liberty in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of City of Boerne v. Flores,” but the committee web site provides only the list of witnesses.

Scholarship

RLUIPA has been the subject of volumes of legal scholarship, both in favor and against. Becket Fund attorneys have participated actively in that conversation by publishing two law review articles, which are available here by permission of the publisher:

Below is other legal scholarship on RLUIPA, listed alphabetically by author’s last name. Very few of these articles can be linked here, but all are widely available at law libraries or through Westlaw or LexisNexis.

  • ____, Developments in the Law IV: In the Belly of the Whale: Religious Practice in Prison, 115 Harv. L. Rev. 1891 (May 2002).
  • Caroline R. Adams, The Constitutional Validity of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: Will RLUIPA’s Strict Scrutiny Survive the Supreme Court’s Strict Scrutiny?, 70 Fordham L. Rev. 2361 (2002)
  • Shawn P. Bailey, The Establishment Clause and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 16 Regent U.L. Rev. 53 (2003/2004)
  • Kris Banvard, Exercise in Frustration? A New Attempt By Congress to Restore Strict Scrutiny to Governmental Burdens on Religious Practice, 31 Cap. U.L. Rev. 279 (2003)
  • Lara A. Berwanger, Note, White Knight?: Can the Commerce Clause Save the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act?, 72 Fordham L. Rev. 2355 (2004)
  • Kenneth J. Brown, Establishing a Buffer Zone: The Proper Balance Between the First Amendment Religion Clauses in the Context of Neutral Zoning Regulations, 149 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1507 (2001)
  • Anne Y. Chiu, Note, When Prisoners Are Weary and Their Religious Exercise Burdened, RLUIPA Provides Some Rest For Their Souls, 79 Wash. L. Rev. 999 (2004)
  • Ruth Colker, City of Boerne Revisited, 70 U. Cin. L. Rev. 455 (2002)
  • Heather Davis, Inmates’ religious rights: deference to religious leaders and accomodation of individualized religious beliefs, 64 Alb. L. Rev. 773 (2000)
  • John J. Dvorske, Validity, Construction, and Operation of Religious Land Use And Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 181 A.L.R. Fed. 247 (2002)
  • Benjamin S. Fischer, Note, Power to the Prisoner: The Importance of State Religious Freedom Acts in Preserving the Religious Liberties of Prisoners, 10 J.L. & Pol’y 233 (2001)
  • Derek L. Gaubatz, RLUIPA at Four: Evaluating the Success and Constitutionality of RLUIPA’s Prisoner Provisions, 28 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 501 (2004)
  • Frederick Mark Gedicks, Symposium: Regulating Sacred Space: Religious Institutions and Land Use Controls: Towards a Defensible Free Exercise Doctrine, 68 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 925 (2000)
  • Joshua R. Geller, Note, The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: An Unconstitutional Exercise of Congress’s Power Under Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment, 6 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y 561 (2002/2003)
  • Kelly Gower, Note, Religious Practice in Prison & The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA): Strict Scrutiny Properly Restored, 6 Rutgers J. Law & Relig. 7 (2004)
  • Heather Guidry, If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .: Can the Commerce and Spending Clauses Support Congress’s Latest Attempt at Religious Freedom Legislation, 32 Cumb. L. Rev. 419 (2002)
  • Stephen A. Haller, On Sacred Ground: Exploring Congress’s Attempts to Rein in Discriminatory State Zoning Practices, 33 Sw. U. L. Rev. 285 (2004)
  • Diane K. Hook, The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: Congress’ New Twist on “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick,” 34 Urban Lawyer 829 (Fall 2002)
  • Timothy J. Houseal, RLUIPA: Protecting Houses of Worship and Religious Liberty, 20 Del. Law. 28 (Fall 2002)
  • Shawn Jensvold, The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA): A Valid Exercise of Congressional Power?, 16 B.Y.U. J. Pub. L. 1 (2001)
  • Von G. Keetch and Matthew K. Richards, Symposium: Restoring Religious Freedom in the States: The Need for Legislation to Enshrine Free Exercise in the Land Use Context, 32 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 725 (1999)
  • Matthew D. Krueger, Note, Respecting Religious Liberty: Why RLUIPA Does Not Violate the Establishment Clause, 89 Minn. L. Rev. 1179 (2005)
  • Douglas Laycock, State RFRAs and Land Use Regulation, 32 U.C. Davis. L. Rev. 755, 760 (1999)
  • Catherine Maxson, Note, “Their Preservation is Our Sacred Trust”– Judicially Mandated Free Exercise Exemptions to Historic Preservation Ordinances under Employment Division v. Smith, 45 B.C. L. Rev 205 (2003)
  • James B. McMullin, Note, Incarceration of the Free Exercise Clause: The Sixth Circuit’s Misstep in Cutter v. Wilkinson, 19 BYU J. Pub. L. 413 (2005)
  • Matthew McNeil, Note, The First Amendment Out On Highway 61: Bob Dylan, RLUIPA, and the Problem with Emerging Postmodern Religion Clauses Jurisprudence, 65 Ohio St. L.J. 1021 (2004)
  • Jennifer L. Monk & Robert H. Tyler, The Application of Prior Restraint: An Alternative Doctrine for Religious Land Use Cases, U. Tol. L. Rev. (Spring 2006)
  • Stanton K. Oishi, RFRA II: The Failure of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 Under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, 25 Hawaii L. Rev. 131 n.242 (2002)
  • Julie M. Osborn, RLUIPA’s Land Use Provisions: Congress’ Unconstitutional Response to City of Boerne, 28 Environs Envtl. L. & Pol’y J. 155 (2004)
  • Michael Paisner, Boerne Supremacy: Congressional Responses to City of Boerne V. Flores and the Scope of Congress’s Article I Powers, 105 Colum. L. Rev. 537 (2005)
  • Christine M. Peluso, Note, Congressional Intent v. Judicial Reality: The Practical Effects of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 6 Rutgers J. Law & Relig. 5 (2004)
  • Kevin M. Powers, The Sword and the Shield: RLUIPA and the New Battle Ground of Religious Freedom, 22 Buf. Pub. Int. L.J. 145 (2004)
  • Marc Rohr, And Congress Said, “Let There Be Religious Land Use”: a RLUIPA Primer, 78 Fla. Bar J. 18 (2004)
  • Frank T. Santoro, Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 24 Whittier L. Rev. 493 (2002)
  • Shelley Ross Saxer, Eminent Domain Actions Targeting First Amendment Land Uses, 69 Mo. L. Rev. 653 (2004)
  • Richard C. Schragger, The Role of the Local in the Doctrine and Discourse of Religious Liberty, 117 Harv. L. Rev. 1810 (2004)
  • Evan M. Shapiro, The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: An Analysis Under the Commerce Clause, 76 Wash. L. Rev. 1255 (2001)
  • Sara Smolik, Note, The Utility and Efficacy of the RLUIPA: Was It A Waste?, 31 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 723 (2004)
  • Roman P. Storzer and Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: A Constitutional Response to Unconstitutional Zoning Practices, 9 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 929 (2001)
  • Matthew T. Sutter, Residential Religious Nuisance, RLUIPA and Sic Utere Tuo Ut Alienum Non Laedas: “Like a Pig in the Parlor,” 5 Rutgers J. Law & Relig. 6 (2004)
  • Robert W. Tuttle, Symposium: Regulating Sacred Space: Religious Institutions and Land Use Controls: How Firm a Foundation? Protecting Religious Land Uses After Boerne, 68 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 861 (2000)
  • Ada-Marie Walsh, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: Unconstitutional and Unnecessary, 10 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 189 (2001)
  • Gregory S. Walston, Federalism and Federal Spending: Why the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 is Unconstitutional, 23 U. Haw. L. Rev. 479 (2001)
  • David B. Zucco, Note, Super-Sized with Fries: Regulating Religious Land Use in the Era of Megachurches, 88 Minn. L. Rev. 416 (2003)

Media

Below is a listing of Becket Fund media releases regarding RLUIPA cases, as well as links to actual media coverage of RLUIPA cases, whether or not involving The Becket Fund.

Becket Fund News Releases

 

RLUIPA News Coverage

Cases

As lawsuits continue to be filed under RLUIPA, we’ll provide information about them, and about federal, state, and administrative decisions interpreting the Act. Below is an alphabetical listing of known cases. We make every effort to keep current on cases around the country, but cannot guarantee that every case is included in this list. If you know of a RLUIPA case that’s not listed here, please let us know.

Litigation

Resources

This website contains a growing number of briefs and pleadings filed by The Becket Fund and others in RLUIPA cases. Those materials are generally grouped according to the cases in which they are filed, but we have learned from site users that it would be more useful to have the most recent examples of each major type of filing grouped together, regardless of case.

Complaints

Briefs on constitutionality of RLUIPA

Briefs on meaning of “substantial burden”

Briefs on meaning of “individualized assessments”

Briefs on meaning of “equal terms”

 

Brief on availability of damages

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