Least-Restrictive-Means Test Law and Legal Definition

Least-restrictive-means test refers to a general rule requiring a governmental regulation to be framed in such a manner that it provides protection to individual civil liberties. However, if there is a legitimate governmental purpose to be achieved, the test permits a government regulation to be restrictive. The least-restrictive-means test is appropriate in cases where there is conflict between state regulations and constitutional clauses.

In A.J. v. K.A.O., 951 So. 2d 30 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. 2007), it was held that least-restrictive-means test springs from the idea that when the state infringes upon constitutionally-protected activity, it must do so in a narrowly-tailored manner.