Alito Seems Poised to Kill Off Scalia's Smith Decision

Alito Seems Poised to Kill Off Scalia's Smith Decision
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

"Religious liberty," Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito asserted in his keynote address to the Federalist Society last week, "is in danger of becoming a second-class right." Before getting down to cases, Alito called this a "surprising turn of events," given what things were like in the 1990s.

When a Supreme Court decision called Employment Division v. Smith cut back sharply on the protection provided by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, Congress was quick to respond. It passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to ensure broad protection for religious liberty.

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