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. Nelson
    Amicus brief challenging the lawfulness of a canine sniff that adds 37 minutes to a traffic stop.
  • State v. Fede
    Amicus brief challenging defendant’s obstruction conviction when all he did was fail to assist officers’ entry into his home and instead said “get a warrant.”
  • State v. Chisum & Woodard
    Amicus brief challenging officers’ detention of hotel guests to perform warrant checks in response to a noise complaint, raising issues of implicit racial bias.
  • State v. Camey
    Amicus brief addressing state’s argument under the “inevitable discovery doctrine” that evidence should not be suppressed because if the police had not acted unconstitutionally, they would have acted constitutionally.
  • In the matter of Records Expungement of T.B.
    Amicus brief addressing eligibility for expungement of criminal records following successful completion of drug court.
  • Curto et al. v. A Country Place Condominium Association
    Fair Housing Act challenge to a condominium association's discriminatory policy of segregating the community's shared swimming pool by gender.
  • Martinez v. Nielsen
    Federal lawsuit challenging the detention and deportation of a man picked up by ICE at his scheduled green card interview.
  • State v. Hyppolite
    Amicus brief addressing appropriate remedy for a prosecutor’s failure to provide required exculpatory information prior to a detention hearing.
  • State v. L.H.
    Challenge to police failure to document conversations between officers and witnesses making eyewitness identifications.
  • State v. Tillery
    Amicus brief in challenge to New Jersey state courts' use of non-convicted conduct as a factor in sentencing.

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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