10th Circuit Victory for Native American Prisoners By Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Ryan Colby 202-349-7219 firstname.lastname@example.org
By Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Do prisoners lose their religious freedom when they go to prison? No—says the Tenth Circuit, in a lucid and important ruling issued a few days ago. If you’ve ever wondered how courts and prisons strike the balance between religious freedom and prison security, this is the case to read.
Judge Gorsuch’s opinion is thoughtful, lively, and correct—he rules that the Wyoming Department of Corrections offered insufficient evidence to prevent a Native American inmate as a matter of law from ever accessing the prison’s sweat lodge.
The Becket Fund has won a variety of similar cases on behalf of inmates from a variety of different faiths. (E.g., here and here.)