Tradition and Compelling Interests in Religion Cases

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Reason - The Volokh Conspiracy

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A quick note on a very interesting Supreme Court opinion last week in the religious liberty context, Ramirez v. Collier. The Court awarded a prisoner on death row a preliminary injunction against his execution because the state refused to allow the prisoner to have his pastor pray and lay hands on him in the execution chamber. The Court held that the prisoner would likely succeed in showing that the state's refusal violated his rights under RLUIPA, a federal statute that prohibits prison officials from substantially violating an inmate's exercise of religion unless the officials have chosen the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling state interest.