As a longtime advocate for religious freedom, ADL supports the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”). Along with other concerned organizations, ADL successfully lobbied for the passage of RLUIPA.
Enacted by Congress in 2000, RLUIPA safeguards the religious freedom of houses of worship in the land-use context and institutionalized persons by restoring courts’ ability to apply a strict standard for reviewing laws that substantially burden religious exercise. In the land-use context, RLUIPA also contains an Equal Terms provision that prohibits local governments from enacting or applying land use regulations that treat religious groups less favorably than non-religious groups.
ADL has continued its support for RLUIPA by submitting “friend of the court” legal briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and various U.S. Courts of Appeals successfully defending the constitutionality of the statute.