Eric J. Neal


Because the Ninth Circuit, in reaching its Thomas decision, relied on Smith's hybrid rights language, this Note will focus on the court's analysis of that subject. By applying the hybrid rights' dicta instead of following the actual holding in Smith, the Ninth Circuit reached a conclusion that is illogical and does not comport with current Supreme Court free exercise jurisprudence. This Note will discuss the Thomas court's analysis and will propose a logical interpretation of Smith that more closely reflects the Supreme Court's actual position regarding the Free Exercise Clause.