Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1002 – Religious freedom, defense use
SENATE BILL NO. 1002
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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - Amends existing law to provide that the provisions of
Chapter 4, Title 73, Idaho Code, relating to the free exercise of religion,
do not establish or eliminate a defense to a civil action or criminal
prosecution under federal or state civil rights laws.
01/11 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/12 Rpt prt - to Jud
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-sixth Legislature First Regular Session - 2001
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1002
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION; AMENDING SECTION 73-402, IDAHO
3 CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 4, TITLE 73, IDAHO CODE,
4 DO NOT ESTABLISH OR ELIMINATE A DEFENSE TO A CIVIL ACTION OR CRIMINAL
5 PROSECUTION UNDER FEDERAL OR STATE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS; DECLARING AN EMER-
6 GENCY AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
7 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
8 SECTION 1. That Section 73-402, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
9 amended to read as follows:
10 73-402. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION PROTECTED. (1) Free exercise of reli-
11 gion is a fundamental right that applies in this state, even if laws, rules or
12 other government actions are facially neutral.
13 (2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, government
14 shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the
15 burden results from a rule of general applicability.
16 (3) Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion
17 only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is both:
18 (a) Essential to further a compelling governmental interest;
19 (b) The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmen-
20 tal interest.
21 (4) A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this
22 section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceed-
23 ing and obtain appropriate relief against a government, provided however, that
24 this chapter does not establish or eliminate a defense to a civil action or
25 criminal prosecution under a federal or state civil rights law. A party who
26 prevails in any action to enforce this chapter against a government shall
27 recover attorney's fees and costs.
28 (5) In this section, the term "substantially burden" is intended solely
29 to ensure that this chapter is not triggered by trivial, technical or de
30 minimis infractions.
31 SECTION 2. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
32 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after
33 February 1, 2001.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation amends Section 73-402, Idaho Code, to provide that the
provisions of Chapter 4, Title 73, Idaho Code, do not establish or eliminate a
defnse to a civil action or criminal prosecution under federal or state civil
It is anticipated that the passage of this legislation will save the State of Idaho
substantial future legal costs.
Senator Gary J. Schroeder
Representative Tom Trail