Schumer Sponsored A Bill That’s Identical To Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

Well, isn’t this uncomfortable? Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was the sponsor of the 1993 federal religious freedom bill that is so similar to the one signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last week. Schumer says there are many differences between the two laws, but a University of Virginia law professor told the New York Daily News that the laws are practically identical.

Schumer also said his bill protected only individuals, while Indiana also includes corporations.

Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia law professor who consulted on the 1993 bill and supports the Indiana measure, called those distinctions insignificant.

“I greatly admire Senator Schumer, but he is just hiding from the hysteria,” Laycock said.

Laycock noted that the federal law and the Indiana measure include identical language giving deference to a “compelling government interest” that can override the measure.

“That part is not just substantially identical; it is word-for-word identical,” Laycock said.

And while the Indiana bill defines “a person” protected to include corporations, unlike the federal bill, that difference is illusory because federal law already defines a person to include a corporation, Laycock said. (Read More)

In other words, the federal law which was sponsored by Schumer contains the exact same words as the Indiana law, but the words have different meanings. Or something.