Prisoner free exercise cases – August 7, 2017

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Henry v. Bright, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119374 (D SC, July 31, 2017), a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119701, July 11, 2017) and dismissed a complaint that prison policies do not permit Buddhist inmates to use scented oils.

In Roberts v. Perry, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120621 (WD NC, Aug. 1, 2017), a North Carolina federal district court upheld a prison’s refusal to recognize “Nation of Israel” (a white-supremacist group) as an approved religion and the concomitant limit on the number of religious texts that an adherent can possess.

In Evans v. Bilal, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121795 (ND IL, Aug. 2, 2017) an Illinois federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that he was not permitted to participate in religious services with other Muslim inmates.

In Butler v. California Department of Corrections, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122724 (ND CA, Aug. 3, 2017), a California federal district court permitted an inmate to move ahead with his attempt to obtain showing of a Nation of Islam video and obtaining a NOI chaplain.