AIRFA and Religious Freedom Restoration bill (@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU:owner-native-l@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU)
11/22/93 3:52PM

Original Sender:!RCLINTON
Mailing List: NATIVE-L (

Peter Welsh <ASUACAD.bitnet!AAP1W> writes:

> I heard a report on NPR this evening that Clinton had just signed
> the Religious Freedom Restoration bill. A primary component of the bill
> was protection for the use of peyote in religious ceremonies, as well as
> prisoners rights. As these were key elements of the draft of the
> proposed revisioun of AIRFA that I had seen several months ago, I am
> wondering what relationship this bill has to AIRFA. Does anyone know if
> it is possible to get a copy of the bill on the net?
> Thanks,
> Peter Welsh
> Arizona State University
> aap1w@asuacad /

The bill President Clinton signed on November 11, 1993 was the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), now Public Law 103-141. It
contains no specific provisions dealing with peyote or Indian sacred
sites. All this bill does is restore the compelling government interest
test in free exercise clause cases. There are no mentions of Indian
religious freedom in the bill. The legislation that would specifically
overturn the Smith peyote decision and the Lyng decision on sacred sites
is the Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act, S. 1021 (NAFERA).
Extensive hearings have been held on this legislation by the Senate
Select Committee on Indian Affairs but the bill has not yet come out of
committee. I fear that passage of RFRA may in fact delay or prevent
passage of NAFERA by removing pressure for corrective legislation.

Robert N. Clinton INTERNET:
Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law MCI Mail: 246-7526
University of Iowa College of Law
Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-9032 (voice) A Computer Bulletin Board for Indian Rights
(319) 335-9019 (FAX) (319) 335-9838 (data -- 2400,N,8,1)

Back to the Top Level: