Heaven Help Us

Heaven Help Us - 14 Am. U.J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 585...

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14 Am. U.J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 585 American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law 2006 Comment *585 HEAVEN HELP US: THE RELIGIOUS LAND USE AND INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS ACT'S PRISONERS PROVISIONS IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN CUTTER V. WILKINSON Morgan F. Johnson [FNa1] Copyright © 2006 American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law; Morgan F. Johnson Introduction . ........................................................ 586 I. Background . ......................................................... 588 A. Establishment Clause Doctrine . .................................. 588 B. Prisoners' Rights . .............................................. 588 C. Background of RLUIPA . ........................................... 590 1. The Religious Freedom and Restoration Act . .................... 590 2. Enactment of RLUIPA . .......................................... 591 D. Cutter v. Wilkinson . ............................................ 592 II. Analysis . ........................................................... 595 A. In the Aftermath of the Cutter Decision a New Standard of Review Emerges for Adjudicating RLUIPA Claims: Deferential Strict Scrutiny 595 B. The Implementation of RLUIPA Results in Excessive Requests for Accommodation and Unacceptable Burdens on Important Penological Interests . ......................................................... 599 1. RLUIPA's "Religious Exercise" Requirement Allows for Excessive Litigation, Which Burdens Both the Prisons and Courts . ............. 600 2. A Study of RLUIPA Cases Since the Statute's Enactment Demonstrates the Judiciary's Tendency to Ignore Significant Security Interests, When Faced with Prisoners' Religious Claims . ... 603 C. A Future Supreme Court Decision to Revisit the Cutter Court's Establishment Clause Analysis Could Avoid the Negative Impacts of RLUIPA . ............................................................ 606 Conclusion . .......................................................... 611 *586 Introduction "There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion."-- James Madison, Journal Excerpt, 1788. [FN1]
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When President Clinton signed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) into law on September 22, 2000, he gave religious prisoners a powerful tool for challenging prison regulations that burden their religious freedom. [FN2] In Cutter v. Wilkinson, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of RLUIPA and consequently strengthened an already potent method for the religious prisoner to bring claims against prisons--one that is unavailable to non-religious inmates. [FN3] To understand the potential effects of RLUIPA, imagine a prisoner in jail for murder, who announces to his guards that he cannot perform his work duties on Wednesdays because Wednesday is a holy day in his religion, a form of Satanism. [FN4] Until this point, he has never mentioned or demonstrated that he follows any religion.
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This note was uploaded on 08/08/2010 for the course COR 856 taught by Professor Dr.kevinminor during the Fall '08 term at E. Kentucky.

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Heaven Help Us - 14 Am. U.J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 585...

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