United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 22, 2024

§ 2000bb–1.
Free exercise of religion protected
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).

Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—
is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
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.

(Pub. L. 103–141, § 3, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488.)
cite as: 42 USC 2000bb-1