Tuesday, May 03, 2016

5th Circuit: Texas Prisons' Grooming and Headwear Policies Violate RLUIPA

Reflecting the approach taken last year by the U.S. Supreme Court in Holt v. Hobbs (see prior posting), yesterday the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ali v. Stephens, (5th Cir., May 2, 2016) held that the Texas prison system's grooming and headwear policies violate a Muslim inmate's rights under RLUIPA.  The court affirmed the trial court's grant of declaratory and injuctive relief to allow an observant Muslim inmate to grow a 4-inch beard and wear his kufi throughout the prison facility.