Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wiccan Prison Chaplain Loses Equal Protection and Retaliation Claims

In McCollum v. California, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13580 (ND CA, Feb. 23, 2009), a volunteer Wiccan prison chaplain claimed that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has not given him the same access to prisoners and facilities as it gives to chaplains of other faiths, and that it retaliated against him because of his complaints about the treatment of Wiccans in California prisons. The court held that plaintiff had not shown sufficient evidence of disparate treatment to support his equal protection claim. Nor had he proven that the temporary suspension of his volunteer privileges or the failure to hire him for a position for which he applied were because of his exercise of 1st Amendment rights. (See prior related posting.)