Reconsidering RLUIPA: Do Religious Land Use Protections Really Benefit Religious Land Users?
Bram Alden* 
57 UCLA L. Rev. 1779

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The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), a federal statute enacted to safeguard religious freedoms from governmental interference, has been broadly and forcefully condemned by academics. In the decade since RLUIPA was passed, scholars have repeatedly denounced the statute as a tool that religious individuals and organizations may use to thwart municipal zoning plans and to undermine local communities’ land use needs. However, in criticizing RLUIPA, few authors have examined the statute’s real effects. Legal academia has largely ignored the growing body of case law that highlights the statute’s ineffectiveness and demonstrates that RLUIPA often fails to benefit or significantly privilege religious groups.

* J.D., UCLA School of Law, 2010; M.S.T., Pace University, 2005; B.A., Columbia University, 2003.

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