Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams - Page 4

                                                 - 4 -                                                   

            exercise of religion unless it demonstrates that application of                              
            the burden is the least restrictive means of achieving a                                     
            compelling governmental interest.  RFRA, 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000bb-                              
            1(b) (1994); S. Rept. 103-111, at 8, 1993 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1892,                                 
            1898.  The legislative history accompanying RFRA explicitly                                  
            states that, in evaluating whether the Government has met the                                
            compelling interest test, cases decided prior to Smith are                                   
            applicable, and the test "should not be construed more                                       
            stringently or more leniently than it was prior to Smith."  S.                               
            Rept. 103-111, at 8-9 (1993), 1993 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1892, 1898.                                  
                  Prior to Smith, the Supreme Court repeatedly held that                                 
            neutral, generally applicable tax laws meet the compelling                                   
            interest test.  See, e.g., Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S.                               
            680, 699-700 (1989) (stating that the Government had a "broad                                
            public interest in maintaining a sound tax system free of myriad                             
            exceptions flowing from a wide variety of religious beliefs");                               
            United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 258-259 (1982) (holding that                             
            the Government's "very high" interest in maintaining a                                       
            comprehensive Social Security system justified denying an Amish                              
            employer an exemption from Social Security taxes); see also S.                               
            Rept. 103-111 at 5 n.5, 1993 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 1895 (citing the                                
            aforementioned decisions).  In United States v. Lee, the Supreme                             
            Court stated:                                                                                
                  The tax system could not function if denominations were                                
                  allowed to challenge the tax system because tax                                        

Page:  Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  Next

Last modified: May 25, 2011