Another RFRA Bill

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Reformation Act has been dominating the headlines, but it isn’t the only RFRA. Nineteen other states have them, and it looks like Arkansas might make the number twenty. 

Arkansas legislators signed the bill on Tuesday, and the Republican governor is set to speak about it on Wednesday, although he has already said “he would sign it if what reaches his desk resembles laws passed in other states,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

This bill, however, differs from Indiana’s in that it is more expansive.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Its scope is wider than similar legislation passed in other states and at the federal level, legal experts say, because it broadly defines the exercise of religion as any action or refusal to act ‘substantially motivated by a person’s sincerely held religious beliefs,’ regardless of whether those beliefs are central to the religion in question.

It also allows those who claim to have been grieved to sue any entity under the law, even if that entity isn’t a part of government. The law doesn’t apply to employees seeking to file a lawsuit against private employers or the state’s correction system.”

Supporters say that the bill will protect individual’s rights from government infringement, and detractors will say that it is too broad and the implications could be far reaching.

Perhaps the governor will clarify the scope of the bill tomorrow.

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