Congratulations to the students, faculty and staff of our new Religious Liberty Clinic on the filing of the Clinic’s inaugural brief.

Eric Hamilton (’13) and Manuel Possolo (’13) authored the brief regarding Native American religious practices, which was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Representing an amicus curiae, Christian Legal Society, the brief challenges the granting of summary judgment to a Texas prison on an inmate’s claim that the prison unlawfully restricted his Native American religious practices.

Eric and Manny argued that summary judgment was improper, because the district court failed to consider evidence that the Texas prison had once allowed plaintiff’s Native American practices and that prisons elsewhere allow such practices without difficulty.  The relevance of past or collateral practice is an underdeveloped but critical concept in applying the federal law protecting religious practice in prison, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, or RLUIPA.

Jim Sonne directs the Religious Liberty Clinic. Jared Haynie serves as the Clinic’s Staff Attorney, and Nicole Riley is the Clinic’s Legal Assistant.

Congratulations to all.