Prisoner free exercise cases – June 27, 2016

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Russell v. Helder, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79862 (WD AR, June 20, 2016), an Arkansas federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79870, May 18, 2016), and refused to dismiss a suit by a Wiccan inmate who was seeking a vegan diet for religious reasons.

In Maon v. State Department of State Hospitals, 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4576 (CA App., June 21, 2016), a California state appeals court upheld a decision by authorities at a state mental hospital refusing to allow a patient detained there who was to be married in the hospital’s visiting room to wear a tuxedo for the ceremony in accordance with Buddhist tradition.

In Rivera v. Raines, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82495 (SD IL, June 23, 2016), an inmate complaining about the refusal of prison officials to permit Nation of Gods & Earths to hold religious services was allowed by an Illinois federal district court to move ahead with his challenges under the 1st Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and his official capacity RLUIPA claims.