ADL DISAPPOINTED BY SUPREME COURT RULING ON RELIGIOUS
FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT
New York, NY, June 25, 1997...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
expressed disappointment with the United States Supreme Court's decision
that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is unconstitutional.
This legislation codified the requirement that government not infringe on
a religious observance unless it could demonstrate a "compelling interest"
for doing so.
"The potential implications of this decision for general religious
practice in this country are significant and disturbing," said David
Strassler, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"For example, without the protection of RFRA, neutral laws regarding
the drinking age and medical procedures could be enforced against Christian
Communion and Jewish circumcision rituals."
"We are particularly disappointed with this decision since RFRA
merely sought to restore the 30-year-old standard requiring states to show
a 'compelling interest' in order to justify a restriction on an individual's
free exercise of religion," continued Mr. Strassler and Mr. Foxman.
"We will immediately act in concert with interfaith coalition partners
and Members of Congress to take steps to ensure maximum protection for religious
liberty and an individual's right to practice his or her religion."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.