Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Cutter v. Wilkinson
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The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) prohibited government, acting through prisons or prison officials, to restrict any religious exercise of the prisoners, unless the restriction was to achieve a compelling state interest. Prisoners in Ohio complained that the Act was being violated since they were not allowed to exercise religions which did not belong to the mainstream, like Satanism, Wicca or Asatru. The prison officials offered the argument that the Act itself was unconstitutional since it permitted government to further religion, in direct violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The district court held that the inmates were right. The Sixth Circuit court of appeals reversed the decision, on the ground that the Act violated the Establishment Clause.
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