William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000: The Land Use Provisions are Both Unconstitutional and Unnecessary
2002 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal Thomas Jefferson Prize for Best Student Note
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 was Congress 'response to the Supreme Court's striking down of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in City of Boerne v. Flores. In promulgating the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Congress, inter alia, sought to protect the free exercise of religion from excessive governmental meddling while remedying discrimination suffered by religious individuals and groups in the area of land use. In dealing solely with land use provisions of the RLUIPA, the author argues that the Religious Land Use and lnstitutionalized Person Act is unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and also violates the principles of separation ofpowers as construed by the Tenth Amendment. Further, this Note suggests that the RLUIPA is wholly unnecessary to achieve Congress' stated goals because mechanisms exist to protect religious groups from discrimination in land use decisions including the Equal Protection Clause, Free Exercise of Religion Clause, and federal civil rights statutes.