More Cert. Grants
Christopher C. Lund
chlund1 at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 12 08:59:02 PDT 2004
Cert. also granted in two Ten Commandments cases, ACLU of Kentucky
v. McCreary County, Kentucky, 354 F.3d 438 (6th Cir. 2003) and Van Orden v.
Perry, 351 F.3d 173 (5th Cir. 2003).
After reading McCreary and Perry again, they are very different
cases. McCreary has improper purpose written all over it -- Judge Gibbons,
who is the sort of moderate conservative that perhaps best would reflect the
Kennedy/O'Connor position, rejected (laughed at?) the claim there was a
secular purpose there. But Van Orden's just the opposite -- it's as good a
case of the legitimate use of the Ten Commandments as it gets.
So split the difference and confuse appellate courts for the next
twenty years (i.e. Lynch/Allegheny County)?
From: "Anthony Picarello" <apicarello at becketfund.org>
Reply-To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
<religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu>
To: "Law & Religion issues for Law Academics" <religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu>
Subject: Cert granted in Cutter
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 11:30:43 -0400
Supreme Court to Review Inmate Freedom Law
By GINA HOLLAND
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider the
constitutionality of a federal law that requires state prisons to
accommodate inmate religions, from Christianity to Satanism.
The case does not question inmates' right to practice their religion, but
asks whether states have to accommodate requests for a particular diet,
special haircut or religious symbols.
Some states argue that a 2000 law intended to protect the rights of
prisoners amounts to an unconstitutional government promotion of religion -
and that it makes prisons more dangerous.
States that receive federal funds must accommodate prisoners' religious
beliefs unless wardens can show that the government has a strong reason not
to, under a 2000 law.
The Supreme Court will consider an appeal from Ohio inmates, described as a
Wiccan witch, a Satanist, a racial separatist who is an ordained minister of
the Christian Identity Church, and others.
The state inmates had sued claiming they were denied access to religious
literature and ceremonial items. The Cincinnati based-6th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals used their case to strike down the law, called the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, on grounds that it violates the
separation of church and state.
"All of (the law's) defenders and antagonists, whether public or private,
whether winners or losers below, are all of one voice on the need for some
review in some case, and Ohio joins that chorus," Ohio Solicitor Douglas
Cole told the court.
He said that inmates can use religion as a cover to promote gangs.
The inmates' lawyer, Ohio State University law professor David Goldberger,
said that prisoners are stripped of many of their rights, but access to
religious should not be one of them.
The First Amendment both guarantees the freedom to exercise one's religion
and says government may not "establish" religion. As interpreted by the
Supreme Court, the Establishment Clause has come to mean that government is
generally prohibited from promoting or endorsing religion.
Before Congress acted, "prisoners, detainees and individuals
institutionalized in mental hospitals faced substantial and unwarranted
burdens in freely practicing their faiths," the Supreme Court was told by
Bush administration lawyers. The administration has defended the law.
The case is Cutter v. Wilkinson, 03-9877.
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