Wednesday, March 31, 2010

10th Circuit: No State RFRA Claim For Objectionable Autopsy

In Ross v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, (10th Cir., March 23, 2010), the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to permit family members to sue under New Mexico’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act challenging an autopsy performed on a San Carlos Apache man that allegedly violate his religious beliefs. The court concluded that decedent did not engage in an "act or refusal to act" that was substantially motivated by religious belief. Thus New Mexico RFRA's protection of free exercise of religion was not implicated. The court also rejected various other challenges to the autopsy