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3/27/2009 5:00:08 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--Calls Needed by Monday for Religious Freedom!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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West Virginia--Calls Needed by Monday for Religious Freedom!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Good news! Your calls helped provide the catalyst for the Chairman of
the Senate Judiciary Committee to agree to put the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, Senate Bill 701, on the committee's agenda for
Monday.

Now we need a big push so the committee members understand the
importance of this bill.

Please pass this on to others. This is a freedom issue that affects
everyone.

ACTION REQUESTED

Your calls are vital! Please set aside half an hour today or early
Monday morning and call three members of the Senate Judiciary
committees listed below.

Your message can be as simple as "Please vote in favor of S.B. 701,
the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It gives crucial protection to
one of our most precious rights, the right to exercise one's religion
freely."

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler since
protecting religious freedom crosses all boundaries. Time is short,
so we need to work quickly.

CONTACT INFORMATION--SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

If your last name begins with A-D, call those in group 1. If it
begins with E-H, call group 2. If it begins with I-L, call group 3.
If it begins with M-P, call group 4. If Q-T, call group 5. Others
call group 6.

Group 1
Jeffrey Kessler - Chair
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7880

Michael Oliverio II
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7919

Richard Browning
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7807

Group 2
H. Truman Chafin
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7808

Dan Foster
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7866

Evan H. Jenkins
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7956

Group 3
William R. Laird
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7849

Joseph M. Minard
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7904

Corey Palumbo
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7854

Group 4
Herb Snyder
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7957

Ron Stollings
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7939

Bob Williams
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7995

Group 5
Jack Yost
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7984

Clark S. Barnes
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7973

Don Caruth
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7901

Group 6
Frank Deem
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7970

Mike Hall
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7843

Kelli Sobonya
Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3175

BACKGROUND

The House version of this bill is not moving forward. No more calls
are needed to members of the House.

In 1997, U.S. Supreme Court flip-flopped and dramatically lowered the
level of protection available for religious freedom. H.B 3233 and S.B.
701 would restore the same protection that existed before the Court's
lamentable decision.

Because of the 1997 Supreme Court decision, religious freedom cannot
be restored to the whole nation at once--it must be done on a
state-by-state basis. More than a dozen states have already done so.

On June 25, 1997, by a 6-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
The City of Boerne v. Flores that the 1993 federal Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA) was unconstitutional. By doing this, the Court
gave the lowest level of protection to religious liberty--one of the
foundational freedoms of homeschooling.

Under this minimal standard, the state can override a homeschooler's
or other citizen's right to freely exercise his religious beliefs
merely by proving that its regulation is "reasonable." Since nearly
all state regulations can be determined to be "reasonable," Christians
will lose.

If passed, the West Virginia RFRA will restore the high standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions. Under the West Virginia
RFRA, if an individual's religious belief is in conflict with a state
regulation, the state will have to prove, with evidence, that its
regulation is essential to fulfill a compelling state interest and is
the least restrictive means of doing so. If the state fails to carry
the burden, the regulation must give way to the individual's religious
freedom. Restoring this protection for religious freedo will simply
"even the playing field." More than a dozen other states have already
adopted Religious Freedom Restoration statutes.

For a more detailed information on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts,
visit our website at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3691 .

Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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