What is the future of religious liberty? Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) type laws, says Richard Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
In any society where there is (a) religious and moral diversity and (b) an active, regulatory welfare state, there will — necessarily — be conflicts and tensions between (i) duly enacted, majority-supported, generally applicable laws and (ii) some citizens’ religious beliefs and exercise. What Justice Jackson called “the uniformity of the graveyard” is not an attractive way to manage these conflicts and tensions; the toleration-and-accommodation strategy, however, is. RFRA-type laws are, in my view, effective and workable mechanisms for carrying out the latter strategy and so, yes, I think such laws are part of the “future of religious liberty.”
Garnett offers two “reasons for cautious optimism” and three causes for concern which you can read here.