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Jewish Law
Recent Developments

In Christians v. Crystal Evangelical Church, CA 8, No. 93-2267, 4/13/98), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") remained constitutional as applied to federal law, including the law of bankruptcy, despite the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Boerne, Texas v. Flores, 65 LW 4612 (US SupCt 1997). In so ruling, the Court found that "the portion of RFRA applicable to the federal government is fully severable from the portion applicable to the states" and that the Flores decision, which had declared RFRA unconstitutional, was limited to RFRA's application to state and local law only.

A copy of the Eleventh Circuit's decision in the Crystal case may be found at

In another recent RFRA case that was decided just shortly before the Eleventh Circuit's decision in Crystal, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho reached a similar conclusion and held that RFRA provides a defense to a trustee's action to recover tithes made by bankruptcy debtors. See In re Hodge, DC Idaho, No. 96-0458-E-BLW (4/3/98).

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