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

  • Asbury Park Press v. Township of Neptune
    Amicus brief in support of public access to police internal affairs records.
  • Delanoy v. Township of Ocean
    Amicus brief in support of pregnant police officer forced to leave the workplace early in violation of the New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
  • State v. Hokum Brown
    Amicus brief arguing that defendants, who were sentenced for underlying sex offenses when failure to register under Megan’s Law was a fourth-degree offense, cannot subsequently be charged with third-degree failure to register under the 2007 amendment to Megan’s Law.
  • State v. Zakariyya Ahmad
    Amicus brief that addresses whether a defendant was in custody for the purposes of Miranda v. Arizona?
  • State v. Romero
    Amicus brief addressing whether the practical availability of parole should be considered when evaluating whether a sentence is the functional equivalent of life without parole.
  • State v. Paden-Battle
    Amicus brief addressing whether a sentencing judge may consider a defendant’s conduct where the jury acquitted defendant of the underlying crime?
  • State v. Malique
    Defense of a person improperly arrested for filming police effectuating another arrest.
  • State v. Maisonet
    Amicus brief challenging the court’s decision to deny defendant’s request for an adjournment to hire counsel of choice, where the court did not consider the necessary factors in making the decision.
  • State v. Lodzinski
    Amicus brief addressing whether courts, in considering the sufficiency of the evidence, must look at evidence put forth by the defendant.
  • State v. Edgar Torres
    Amicus brief that asks how courts must consider sentences of people who are already sentenced to long prison terms.

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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