Tax Anti-Injunction Act and the Federal Leavings of RFRA
JMHACLJ at AOL.COM
Tue Apr 28 15:42:07 PDT 1998
The anti-injunction act bars federal courts from enjoining, suspending or
restraining taxes or levies under state law if a plain, efficient and speedy
remedy is available under state law.
The federal leavings of Religious Freedom Restoration Act bar a federal actor
from "substantially burden[ing] a person's exercise of religion even if the
burden results from a rule of general applicability" unless the federal actor
"demonstrates that application of the burden to the person -(1) is in
furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least
restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest."
Did Congress modify the provisions of the anti-injunction act when it enacted
What is the nature of the modification that Congress worked?
Consider the following example: UBN (Unity Broadcasting Network) applies for,
but is denied a state property tax exemption available for places of religious
worship and instruction; UBN applied for the exemption for its studio and
tower property, from which it produces and broadcasts 24 hours a day of
religious worship and instruction. UBN may challenge the denial of the
property tax exemption in state court; challenging in federal court, using a
1983 mode, would raise the spectre of attorneys fees awards, damages, and but
for the anti-injunction act, injunctive relief.
Does RFRA modify the tax antijunction act in a way that would make injunctive
relief available through the federal district courts, even though state law
provides for some form of plain, speedy and efficient remedy?
Obviously the strictures of RFRA do not bind the state or local taxing
authority. But does RFRA prohibit the federal judge from substantially
burdening UBN's religion by refusing to issue injunctive relief on the basis
only of the anti-injunction act?
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