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#365396 - 05/31/05 03:41 PM High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
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LINK WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of a federal law requiring state prisons to accommodate inmate religions.

Justices unanimously sided with Ohio inmates, including a witch and a Satanist, who had claimed they were denied access to religious literature, ceremonial items and time to worship.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the 2000 law, which was intended to protect the rights of prisoners, is not an unconstitutional government promotion of religion.

"It confers no privileged status on any particular religious sect, and singles out no bona fide faith for disadvantageous treatment," Ginsburg wrote.

The law requires states that receive federal money to accommodate prisoners' religious beliefs unless wardens can show that the accommodation would be disruptive.

Opponents of the law had argued that inmate requests for particular diets, special haircuts or religious symbols could make it harder to manage prisons.

"We do not read (the law) to elevate accommodation of religious observances over an institution's need to maintain order and safety," wrote Ginsburg. "We have no cause to believe that (the law) would not be applied in an appropriately balanced way, without sensitivity to security concerns."

Justices left open the door for a future challenge, on grounds that the law as applied overburdens prisons.

Tuesday's decision overturns a ruling by the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had struck down part of the law, called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, on grounds it violated the separation of church and state.

The Ohio case is Cutter v. Wilkinson, 03-9877.
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Great, now we have to pay for this!

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#365397 - 05/31/05 04:06 PM Re: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
Anonymous
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giddyup cowboy giddyup

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#365398 - 05/31/05 05:30 PM Re: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
Anonymous
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Quote:

Great, now we have to pay for this!




Keep in mind that the decision as to whether we should pay for this was made by Congress when they passed the law. All the Supreme Court did was rule that the law wasn't an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

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#365399 - 05/31/05 06:31 PM Re: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
Anonymous
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Does anyone know the way to San Josa?

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#365400 - 05/31/05 06:36 PM Re: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
Anonymous
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The punishment for inmates is the loss of liberty. Not the loss of their religious expression. Suing the state because they get smooth peanut butter and they want chunky, on the other hand.....

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#365401 - 05/31/05 06:54 PM Re: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
Anonymous
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Accomodate ≠ Pay For

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#365402 - 05/31/05 06:54 PM Re: High Court Sides with Inmates on Religion
Anonymous
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"Accomodate" does not mean "Pay For"

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