Exclusive–Bipartisan Law Profs Warn Jan Brewer: SB1062 'Egregiously Misrepresented'

On February 25th a group of eleven renowned law professors from around the country sent a letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) warning that SB1062—the bill "which amends Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA)—has been "egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics." 

The mix of eleven professors consists of Republicans and Democrats, religious and non-religious, "some...[who] oppose same-sex marriage [and] some... who support it." Their letter was obtained exclusively by Breitbart News ahead of its public release.

Their letter focuses on the important role RFRA plays in "[enacting] a uniform standard to be interpreted and applied to individual cases." And the professors said such a "standard makes sense" as "we should not punish people for practicing their religions unless we have very good reason."

SB1062 amends Arizona's RFRA in two ways: 

1. "It provides that people are covered when state or local government requires them to violate their religion in the conduct of their business."

2. "It would provide that people are covered when sued by a private citizen invoking state or local law to demand that they violate their religion."

Countering misrepresentations, the professors pointed out that "SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons."

In concluding, they urged Gov. Brewer to be sure SB1062 is "accurately considered," so that in passing judgment on it she is not "misled by uniformed critics." 

The eleven signatories:

Prof. Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law

Prof. Helen M. Alvare, George Mason University School of Law

Prof. Carl H. Esbeck, University of Missouri School of Law

Prof. Christopher C. Lund, Wayne State University Law School

Prof. Gregory C. Sisk, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School

Prof. Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law School

Prof. Thomas C. Berg, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Prof. Richard W. Garnett, Notre Dame Law School

Prof. Mark S. Scarberry, Pepperdine University School of Law

Robert Fretwell Wilson, University of Illinois College of Law

("Institutional affiliations are for identification only. [The] institutions take no positions on these bills.")

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.


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