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2/14/2011 4:39:11 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--More Action Needed to Protect Religious Freedom!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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West Virginia--More Action Needed to Protect Religious Freedom!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Thank you for making calls to the Judiciary Committee. We have heard
reports that your calls are being heard, but we need more. House Bill
2873, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), has been referred
to the House Judiciary Committee but the bill has not yet been placed
on the agenda. Because of recent United States Supreme Court rulings
that have effectively abandoned religious freedom as a fundamental
constitutional right of its own, this bill is necessary to restore the
protection of religious liberty.

If passed, HB 2873 would prohibit the government from substantially
burdening a person's exercise of religion unless it meets the highest
constitutional test available. That test requires that the government
show that its action which burdens a person's religious freedom is
"essential to further a compelling governmental interest and it is the
least restrictive means of furthering that interest."

Please take action, as requested below, to help secure this important
freedom.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact the committee chair and members of the House Judiciary
Committee this week and ask them to support HB 2873 and place it on
the agenda. Because this legislation applies to all West Virginia
citizens, you need not identify yourself as a homeschooler. Consider
giving the following message in your own words.

"Please put House Bill 2873 on the committee agenda. The West Virginia
Religious Freedom Restoration Act will strengthen my religious
freedom. This bill is needed because the United States Supreme Court
has weakened protection for religious expression, and it is up to you
to act to protect it. This bill is important, so please put it on the
agenda and recommend passing it."

At this point the chairman has the decision to take action, so we are
asking you to contact him directly:

Delegate Tim Miley - Judiciary Committee Chair
Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3252
Business Phone: (304) 326-1800
Email: tim.miley@wvhouse.gov

BACKGROUND

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. Under this
minimal standard, the state can override a citizen's right to freely
exercise his or her religious beliefs by simply proving that its
regulation is "reasonable." Since nearly all state regulations can be
determined to be "reasonable," religious freedom is exceedingly
limited.

If passed, the West Virginia RFRA would restore the standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions.

To view Mike Donnelly's complete testimony before the judiciary
committee last fall, click here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10310

For additional information, visit our issues library at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10311

Or, view Heritage Communications of West Virginia's detailed analysis
here: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10312

HSLDA is working closely with the Christian Home Educators of West
Virginia (CHEWV) to support this legislation.

We are standing with you to defend your freedom!

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

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-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your
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take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1923

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