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O'Lone v. Shabazz (docket #: 85-1722) (1987)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 03/24/1987
Decided 06/09/1987
Supreme Court Vote 5-4
Supreme Court Ruling Free Exercise claim denied; the prison policies have legitimate penological interests, which are supported by the fact that they do not deprive respondents of all forms of religious exercise.
 
IssueWhether prison regulations that required prisoners to work outside on Friday afternoons, thereby making it impossible for them to attend Muslim congregational services held at that time, violated their rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
Majority Opinion Rehnquist, C.J. (joined by White, Powell, O’Connor, and Scalia, JJ.)
Dissenting Opinion Brennan, J. (joined by Marshall, Stevens. and Blackmun, JJ.)
Lower Court 3rd Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Free Exercise Claim upheld.
Lawyers
For Petitioner
Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey Laurie M. Hodian

For Respondent
James Katz

For Amicus
Roger Clegg (For the United States, urging reversal)

Briefs
For Amicus
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, American Jewish Congress, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Prisoners’ Rights Project of the Legal Aid Society of the city of New York, Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (for Respondents)

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (supporting Petitioners)

National Congress of American Indians (as amici curiae)

Opinion - Lower Court
Shabazz v. O’Lone, 782 F.2d 416 (C.A.3 1983)
News
Cheslownewark, Jerry, "Prison Prayer Edict Under Appeal," New York Times, Feb. 21, 1988, pg. 541
Other
Tribe, Laurence, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (22nd ed., 1988) sect. 14.13
Witte, John, Jr., RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERIMENT (2000), pp. 138,139
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