Sabbatarians and deadlines

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at
Mon Mar 27 09:06:47 PST 2006

    I sympathize with Steve's general argument, but I wonder how it fits
within the RFRA framework.  Is it that having five days instead of six
-- or two days instead of three -- isn't a substantial burden?  That it
is a burden, but denying the exemption passes strict scrutiny?  That
despite the RFRA language, some test other than strict scrutiny applies?

-----Original Message-----
From: religionlaw-bounces at
[mailto:religionlaw-bounces at] On Behalf Of Steven Jamar
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 8:01 AM
To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
Subject: Re: Sabbatarians and deadlines

Where would this end?  Sabbatarians who observe a day of no work,
including studies, would need an extra 16 days to prepare for classes?
Or an extra reading period to prepare for exams?  And it would need to
be worked out so that they get the same number of days between each

How is the law review competition not, for constitutional purposes,
conducted by the school, btw?

We try to accommodate those students by not having assignments due on
Saturdays.  And we make special arrangements for moot court competitions
to hold arguments on Fri and Sunday for those participants.  And so on.
But I see no obligation to accommodate to the extent your inquiry


On Mar 24, 2006, at 7:57 PM, Volokh, Eugene wrote:

Thinking about some of our UCLA Law School assignments,
especially ones that have relatively short deadlines, led me to ask
this:  Do public universities in states with accommodation regimes
(under RFRA or under Sherbert/Yoder-based state Free Exercise Clause
rules) have an obligation to extend some deadlines for Sabbatarians?  

The law review competition, for instance, starts Thursday
afternoon and ends Wednesday afternoon; it's generally believed that
many students really do need all six days to do a good job.  Say the
competition was conducted by school (which it isn't, but say it was).
Sabbatarians would have only five days on which they could do the
competition, but others have six; would the school have an obligation to
give Sabbatarians an extra day?

What if this were a 72-hour take home exam, given Friday morning
and due Monday morning?

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Prof. Steven D. Jamar                                     vox:

Howard University School of Law                           fax:

2900 Van Ness Street NW
mailto:stevenjamar at

Washington, DC  20008

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.
There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked
solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

- Martin Luther King Jr., "Strength to Love", 1963    

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