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Right to grow a beard? SCOTUS grants very rare approval to hear a prisoner’s case

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Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

RNS August 19, 2014

The prisoner’s defense team comes from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Becket Fund was also the legal force behind this year’s landmark Hobby Lobby case. In this case, the Becket Fund contends that the prison’s policy runs afoul of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a follow-up to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (cited heavily in the Hobby Lobby case). Becket also argues that since the prison allows beards for medical reasons, the decision to refuse Holt’s religious request is arbitrary, and therefore unacceptable.

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