THE LANDSCAPE OF CONTEMPORARY JURISPRUDENCE REGARDING FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION
Since 1990 the debate over the limits of free exercise of religion has touched the courts, the Congress, and the executive branch. A wide range of issues has emerged: property use, prisoner rights, religious speech and association in schools, church’s autonomy in hiring employees, and the Obama administration’s policies toward health insurance requirements for religious institutions and businesses. The purpose of this paper is to assess the current state of free exercise jurisprudence through a survey of the major developments in these fields. It seems that when free exercise issues affect individuals or religious institutions alone, a wide scope is allowed for religious liberty. However, when other political interests come into play—such as gay and lesbian groups or groups representing women—the record is far more mixed
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