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Lydia Trandem, Fargo, Published May 22 2012

‘Clogged court’ fears on Measure 3 overblown

In her May 17 letter to the editor regarding the Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment, (Measure 3), Cheryl Bergian details the same undocumented allegations about litigation and clogging the courts we’ve heard time and time again.

Measure 3 is about restoring the level of protection of First Amendment rights of religious exercise to a level that existed prior to a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision, a level that is enjoyed by 27 other states and the federal government. There is no evidence whatsoever of an increase in litigation. In fact, 10 of the states that have passed similar legislation have only reported 12 court cases as a result. That hardly qualifies as the “court-clogging” boondoggle Bergian indicates would exist, should Measure 3 pass.

The language in Measure 3 is in fact very similar to that in those states as well as the federal government. Measure 3 restores language that puts the burden on the government to have a good reason, not just any reason, if the government seeks to infringe on someone’s religious beliefs.

Isn’t that what the Founding Fathers had in mind? Measure 3 is clear: It is about restoring protection. Please vote “yes” on 3.