Prisoner free exercise cases – May 17, 2015

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Quezada v. Long, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61753 (CD CA, May 11, 2015), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed, with leave to amend, a complaint by an Orthodox Jewish inmate that he was not allowed to take his religious meals out of the dining hall to his cell, so that he could perform ritual washing of hands and recitation of prayers before eating.

In Strickland v. Godinez, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62179 (SD IL, May 12, 2015), an Illinois federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62176, April 20, 2015) and denied a preliminary injunction to an inmate who practices Asatruar who sought protection from retaliation, participation in worship, ownership of various ritual items and setting aside of sacred land where rituals could be performed.

In Porter v. Wegman, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63573 (ED CA, May 15, 2015), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a House of Yahweh inmate’s complaint over lack of accommodation of his Passover observance and denial of participation in the Jewish kosher diet program.