CA RFRA

Hamilton02 at aol.com Hamilton02 at aol.com
Sun Jan 6 19:59:11 PST 2008


 
I have no doubt that Alan and I have very different memories of what  
happened in CA given that we were both heavily involved in opposite sides.   Someday 
we'll have to sit down and compare notes.  I find it interesting  that 
objections by the DOC are "political" rather than policy, but that's an  issue for 
another day.  
 
I was only responding to the thread about child custody when I mentioned  
that one of the elements that undermined the CA RFRA was opposition by those  
dealing with children's issues.  I'd have to go dig it up from my files,  but I 
believe there was a letter from judges who opposed RFRA because of  its affect 
on children.  In any event, my point was that there was a  perception in CA 
that RFRA would alter the previous balance of power between  parents in favor of 
the religious believer, or the more active  practitioner.  
 
There is no question that there were other elements involved in the CA  
RFRA's failure as well, but they were irrelevant to the thread at the  time.
 
Marci
 
In a message dated 1/5/2008 12:27:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
aebrownstein at ucdavis.edu writes:

This  may  be a good example why it is hard to figure out why laws get passed 
 or do not get passed. I was heavily involved in trying to get RFRA enacted 
in  CA. I would not suggest as Marci does that the CA RFRA "never made it  
anywhere" since it passed both houses of the legislature -- only to be vetoed  by 
Governor Pete Wilson.

As to the reasons why Wilson vetoed the bill,  I had never heard that civil 
rights issues or child justice issues were  particularly important reasons for 
Wilson's decision. If Marci or Marc have  more information on what led to 
Wilson's veto, I would be really interested in  hearing about it since I spent so 
much time working on the bill and was  dismayed when the veto came down.

For whatever my recollection is worth  (this was over ten years ago), I think 
the backers of the bill thought that  concerns about zoning were part of the 
problem (the League of Cities and other  groups strongly opposed RFRA)  but 
that the major reason for the veto was  opposition by the Department of 
Corrections and the Correctional  Officers.

Given the record of various votes on various versions of RFRA  bills in CA 
(many legislators voted for a broad RFRA bill requiring strict  scrutiny review 
one year , but against a RFRA bill limited to land use that  required 
intermediate level scrutiny a year or two later), I think it would  hard to argue that 
policy, as opposed to politics, had anything to do with the  results in this s
tate.


 



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