Wednesday, February 14, 2007

8th Circuit Arguments Held On Faith-Based Prison Program; MP3 Version Available

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports on yesterday's oral arguments in the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries, a case in which an Iowa district court held that InnerChange, a faith-based prison rehabilitation program financed with state funds, violates the Establishment Clause. The 3-judge panel in the Court of Appeals included retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. (See prior posting.) About 15 seconds into his argument, O'Connor cut off retired Iowa deputy attorney general, Gordon Allen to ask a question about recidivism rates in Iowa and in other states. An MP3 file of yesterday's entire oral argument can be played or downloaded from the 8th Circuit's website.

UPDATE: A fuller account of the oral arguments is available at this post from Anne Farris at The Roundtable [via Blog from the Capitol]. And here is a posting at Knippenblog (Joe Knippenberg) with links to the briefs and recent op-ed pieces on the case.