Religious Freedom

chklt_relig_100: Religious Freedom

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

— First Amendment

Religious freedom is the right to practice the religion of one's choice or no religion at all. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects religious freedom by keeping religion free from government interference and coercion.

Legal Cases

  • State v. Lunsford
    Defending the warrant requirement to obtain telephone billling records
  • State v. Cushing
    Whether, absent exigent circumstances, a search of a residence must be authorized by a warrant
  • E&J Equities v. Board of Adjustment of Township of Franklin
    Town ordinance effectively prohibits electronic billboards
  • Paff v. OCPO
    The ACLU-NJ filed an amicus brief in support of a public records requester seeking access to police dashboard camera footage.
  • State v. Denelsbeck
    Mandatory jail time of more than 6 months for third DUI offenders should trigger the right to a jury trial.
  • Smith v. Millville
    The ACLU-NJ filed an amicus brief in support of an employee who was fired after filing for divorce from his wife who worked for the same employer.
  • ACLU-NJ v. DOH
    The ACLU-NJ requested public records from the NJ Department of Health after the state issued a troubling quarantine policy.
  • Bornstein v. County of Monmouth
    County jail requests to seal court record of video footage of the last hours of an inmate’s life.
  • Scheeler v. Office of the Governor
    Governor’s Office denied OPRA request for all OPRA records concerning bridegate on the grounds that OPRA records are exempt from disclosure under OPRA.
  • Hassan v. The City of New York
    Challenge to surveillance by the New York Police Department of Muslims in New Jersey.

Legislative Efforts

  • Bail System Reform
    Moves New Jersey’s bail system to a risk-based one and away from a wealth-based system.
  • Marijuana Decriminalization
    Removes possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana from the list of disorderly persons offenses and creates a $50 civil penalty for such possession.
  • “Ban the Box”
    Prohibits employers from conducting a criminal history inquiry of a job applicant until after a conditional offer
  • DNA Collection for Low-Level Offenses
    Requires law enforcement to collect DNA samples from adults and juveniles convicted of certain non-criminal disorderly person offenses.
  • Sex Offender Banishment Ordinances
    Permits municipalities to enact ordinances preventing individuals convicted of certain sex offenses from living within 500 feet of a school, child-care center, or playground.
  • Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Disclosure
    Extends election expenditure reporting requirements to certain non-profit advocacy organizations.
  • Tuition Equality
    Makes undocumented students who studied for three or more years at and graduated from NJ high schools, or obtained GED, eligible for in-state tuition and financial aid at NJ state colleges and universities.
  • Transgender Birth Certificate Discrimination
    Creates standards for amending the sex of a person on a birth certificate and eliminates the sex reassignment surgery requirement.
  • Drone Regulation
    Creates strong privacy protections for New Jerseyans regarding law enforcement agencies’ use of drones for surveillance purposes.
  • Exposure of Birth Parent Identities to Adoptees
    Grants adoptees and certain other persons access to original birth documents.




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