Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
One News Now: In a Texas case filed against the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the high court ruled that jail inmates who successfully file a religious discrimination claim under the law cannot collect damages. But Liberty Institute Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford believes that violates Congress’ intent.
SCOTUS Blog: The Court, over two dissents, bars prison inmates’ lawsuits seeking money damages from state governments for violating the prisoners’ rights under federal law to practice their religion behind bars.
Lisa McElroy writing at SCOTUSblog: “In Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, a group of taxpayers brought suit challenging an Arizona policy that allows those who donate money to school tuition organizations – which, according to the taxpayers, mostly sponsor scholarships to religious schools – to receive tax credits for their donations . . . The Court considered religion in another case this week: Sossamon v. Texas, in which an inmate in a Texas state prison alleged that various prison policies violated his right to freely exercise his religion.”
Lyle Denniston writing at SCOTUSblog: “A Texas prison inmate’s claim that the warden’s staff has illegally interfered with the practice of his Christian faith offers the Supreme Court a significant opportunity to spell out how much power Congress has when it attaches strings to the money it provides to states — that is, when it uses its core authority under the Constitution’s Spending Clause and states get the money. The lower courts are divided over whether one of the strings Congress may attach is a requirement that state officials submit to damage claims if they violate an individual’s federal rights.”
SCOTUSblog: “The Supreme Court on Monday released the schedule of oral arguments to be heard in the two-week session that begins on Monday, Nov. 1 . . . Tues., Nov. 2: . . . Sossamon v. Texas (08-1438) — immunity of state officials to money damage lawsuits for violating prison inmates’ religious freedom (J. Kagan recused) . . . Wed., Nov. 3: . . . Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn (09-987) and Garriott v. Winn (09-991) — constitutionality of state tuition tax credit for private school tuition; also, issue on standing to sue (cases consolidated for 1 hour of argument)”
Christian prisoner entitled to seek monetary damages for violation of his religious rights, says ACLU
ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas filed a friend-of-the-court brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the right of a prisoner in Texas to seek monetary damages from the state under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) after he was denied access to a prison chapel for religious purposes. The name of the case is Sossamon v. Texas.”
SCOTUS Blog has published its most recent list of petitions to watch. The list includes 2 RLUIPA cases and a school choice case that should be of interest to ADF Alliance Alert readers.
SCOTUS Blog’s latest list of Petitions to Watch includes this:
Title: Sossamon v. Texas; Cardinal v. Metrish