Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Proposed Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987
am writing to advise you of my deep concern with the ``Civil Rights Restoration
Act'' (S. 557), also called the ``
of the civil rights of Americans is an important function of government. In the
area directly affected by the
The bill poses a particular threat to religious liberty. It interferes with the free exercise of religion by failing to protect the religious tenets of schools closely identified with religious organizations. Further, the bill establishes unprecedented and pervasive Federal regulation of entire churches and synagogues whenever any one of their many activities, such as a program to provide hot meals for the elderly, receives any Federal assistance. Moreover, and in further contrast to pre-Grove City coverage, entire private elementary and secondary school systems, including religious systems, will be covered if just one school in such a private system receives Federal aid.
I regret that the Members of the House of Representatives were not given the opportunity to consider and solve these and the many other problems with the bill through the normal process of committee consideration. I urge the House to correct these deficiencies.
Note: Identical letters were sent to Jim Wright, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Robert H. Michel, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; and Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., of Wisconsin. The letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 2.