Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Religeous Freedom Restoration Act of 1993

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was proposed as H.R. 1308 to the 103rd Congress of The United States in 1993 by Representative Chuck Shumer (D, NY). He had 170 cosponsors, 135 of them Democrat. At that time, the House of Representatives was composed of 258 Democrats, and 176 Republicans (59%D, 41%R), only 35 of whom had co-sponsored the bill. Ultimately, it passed by a UNANIMOUS vote.

The Senate, at the time, was composed of 57 Democrats, and 43 Republicans. The bill was approved in the Senate by a vote of 97 to 3, with two Democrats, and Jesse Helms (R,NC) voting NO, and then of course it was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.

The Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) was decided the way it was because mandated elements of the Affordable Care Act contradicted the language of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and of course the purpose of the Supreme Court is to insure that the law is consistent.

So when anti-Christian zealots start to shriek hysterically about how Donald Trump and religiously fanatical conservatives are working to install a theocracy in Washington based on a closed door policy guidance speech that Jeff Sessions made, take a moment to re-visit history for just a half a mo and remind them that they have Chuck Shumer and the solidly Democrat 103rd Congress and Democrat elder statesman Bill Clinton to thank for the RFRA.

But that's just what an average guy thinks.

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