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Employment Division v. Smith (1990)
Encyclopedia of the First Amendment
  • John R. Hermann, Trinity University
Document Type
Contribution to Book
Publication Date
In Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), the Supreme Court changed free exercise law dramatically by ruling that generally applicable laws not targeting specific religious practices do not violate the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. The Court abandoned the compelling interest test that it had used in free exercise cases since 1963 in Sherbert v. Verner.
Congressional Quarterly Press
Citation Information
Hermann, J. R. (2007). Employment Division v. Smith (1990). In Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press.