From ............. Associated Press
October 15, 1996
By RICHARD CARELLI
WASHINGTON (AP) - Taking on what could become an epic constitutional battle, the Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to judge the validity of a 1993 federal law aimed at enhancing Americans' religious freedom.
The law has been particularly unpopular with prison officials in many states. They say it caused a flood of lawsuits in which inmates challenge regulation of apparel, diet and other aspects of life behind bars as violations of their religious beliefs.
Sixteen states joined in a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Boerne's appeal, saying the federal law has allowed "gangs and like-minded groups to shroud illicit activity under the cover of 'religious' belief."
IOW .......... What the Vatican has been doing for 1700 or so years.