February 18, 2014

"[W]atching his hair fall to the floor during a mandated haircut in prison led him to feel that 'most of me was laying on the floor.'"

"Hair is closely connected to a Native American’s innermost being and identity, and has profound religious significance for all tribes. Hair constitutes part of one’s identity as an Indian person, and is a cornerstone element in Native American religious practice."

Seeking Supreme Court review of an 11th Circuit decision rejecting a claim under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, under which state prisons that accept federal money must agree to refrain from putting substantial burdens on religion that are not supported by a compelling state interest.

31 comments:

rhhardin said...



His mugshot is even more soul-stealing.

Michael said...

Bullshit.

Michael said...

Bullshit.

EDH said...

"The plaintiff calls Cameron Diaz to the witness stand."

jacksonjay said...

I think Doug Bailey is a second cousin to Senator Elizabeth Warren!

SGT Ted said...

Getting your hair cut off is done on purpose and part of that purpose is to remove you from every comfort you have, and to remind you that the old you isn't acceptable anymore. Shaving your head bald is one of the ways to remove you from your comfort zone. Hair is a part of that.

They also are shaving them down to reduce habitat for lice.

They do it that way in the Military for the same reason. And if he had joined the Military, he wouldn't be whining about getting his hair cut, because his religious claim is bullshit.

When are people going to get the criminals are in prison because they have problems with accepting societal rules, called laws and that law suits like this are them continuing to refuse to accept and obey the rules?

damikesc said...

Hygiene isn't a compelling interest?

Ann Althouse said...

"Hygiene isn't a compelling interest?"

Well, the compelling interest must require the substantial burden, so where there are ways to meet the interest without imposing the burden on religion, the state has agreed not to burden religion.

Clearly, there are other ways to achieve cleanliness than to cut off someone's hair!

damikesc said...

Outside of supervised showering...I don't see many. Head lice would be a problem for other inmates as can other similar issuez. It's less problematic to shave everybody than have supervised showers.

elkh1 said...

Don't do things that would send you to jail.

The Crack Emcee said...

Jesus, you guys are a bunch of silly sadists:

Give the Indian his fucking hair.

He's not in the military. And, if you "don't do things that would send you to jail," then the only reason he's there is because he lost the war this nation launched on his folks without warning. Wanna prosecute that case for him?

Y'all are always praising Bush for his decency - try showing some yourselves,...

jacksonjay said...

The "Indian" is about is as "Indian" as I am! Here's the giveaway, Doug "Dark Horse" Bailey!

Living next door to the Indian Territory, it is pretty easy to spot the fraud! When they have to add a name, you can bet they are no more than 1/32! Just ask the Native American Senator. Real Native Americans don't add Indian sounding names, they carry their Indian card!

Remember Ben "Night Horse" Campbell?

SGT Ted said...

What if his claims to religion exemption are fake?

He is making a claim that ALL tribes have this significance, which is evidence that it IS a fake claim.

Funny how I've never heard of this American Indian hair exemption brought up once in the 26 years Military Served I did, where we had many tribal enlistees and officers.

If Christians can be forced to bake gay people wedding cakes against their will, then American Indian convicts can handle a haircut while serving time.

SGT Ted said...

He's not in jail as a POW, Crack, so try again.

James H said...

I think personally this dispute is pretty easy under the 3 prong test. The Indian wins.

Its interesting to see how this case and the legislative history of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ( Hobby Lobby ) are related.

The language between Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the RFRA are similar. In fact in one brief that is in front of the Court as to Hobby Lobby the Legislative debate of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized act is used to help illuminate what the RFRA means.

Both had a coalition of conservatives , evangelicals, liberals , ACLU types that joined with the respective administration to overturn a Fed Court opinion.

In the Hobby Lobby cases there is a segment that wants the4 entire RFRA declared Unconst ! See recent NYT Op - Ed.

It needs to be remembered such logic on the RFRA would have dire results on people protected under the law mentioned here. Including but not limited to Prisoners

The Crack Emcee said...

SGT Ted said...
He's not in jail as a POW, Crack, so try again.


Stop leaning on the folks you've historically leaned on. He's already in prison, what more do you need? It's fucking hair.

He's an indian. Last I checked, they were into their hair.

Leave 'em alone.

SGT Ted said...

I'm into my hair too, but everybody else gets a haircut when they go to that prison.

Why should he be exempt?

SGT Ted said...

Stop leaning on the folks you've historically leaned on.


Aha, caught you, Crack, blatantly trying to blame the past treatment of American Indians on me, simply because I'm a white guy and I look like those other white guys that made war on the Indian tribes. You fucking racist.

He isn't in jail for being an American Indian.

Gahrie said...

Why isn't punishment a compelling interest?

Can we please finally consign rehabilitation to the dustbin of failed ideas and go back to punishing criminals?

And while we are at it...we need to fix the problem of prison violence and rape...if we can't control them in prison how can we hope to control them when they are released?

Gahrie said...

Give the Indian his fucking hair

And give him a joint while you're at it...just no firewater.

We should probably give him regular furloughs to go hunting to...isn't that type of thing important to Indians also?

Sigivald said...

I wasn't aware there was a singular "Native American Religious Practice".

Which tribe is he claiming, and what's their historic religious belief about hair?

(My issue here is not religious accomodation; I wouldn't question a Sikh or Hasid's desire to be unshorn.

My issue is that he's pushing all my fake-native-spirituality-invented/generalized-by-white-people buttons.)

The Crack Emcee said...

SGT Ted said...
I'm into my hair too, but everybody else gets a haircut when they go to that prison.

Why should he be exempt?


I told you - you've taken enough from him. Leave 'em alone.

As they say, not being an asshole is good for you, too.

The Crack Emcee said...

SGT Ted,

"He isn't in jail for being an American Indian."


And I don't think you'd entertain it if he was - that's why you need somebody to say leave 'em alone.

Really, trying to make a country is better than trying to make a point, don't you think?

Again - the only one fixated on that,...

Monkeyboy said...

Not familiar with the tribe he claims in Alabama, but long hair wasn't big with the Eastern tribes (quite the opposite in fact hence "Mowhawk") nor does it seem a big deal among the Pacific Northwest tribes. Come to think of it, is there any evidence that long hair was a religious requirement for any tribe?

Horseball said...

After 2L I worked in the NYS Attorney General's office on prisoner cases. The first one was for a guy who wanted to be transferred to the prison that has an Indian sweatlodge and also for access to tobacco.

It turns out that when he was admitted to prison, he gave his race as white and religion as baptist.

Another was a Jewish guy who had over 20 cases going related to Kosher meals, but he did take a menorah and fashion it into shivs.

Lots of games playing with religion for prisoners who are so inclined.

SOJO said...

Let him keep his hair.

damikesc said...

I told you - you've taken enough from him

Damn you're tedious.

Nobody took anything from him.

Ann Althouse said...

The relationship between RLUIPA and RFRA is that the Supreme Court held that Congress lacked the power to impose RFRA on the states and local government. There couldn't be a mandate for this standard. So Congress devised a statute that could apply to the states by using a condition on the spending power. Since the states take money from the federal govt for prisons, a condition was attached that they would agree to be governed by this standard for prisons.

Ann Althouse said...

And the condition was accepted.

Smilin' Jack said...

'most of me was laying on the floor.'

Laying what on the floor? Can't people complete a sentence any more?

...federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, under which state prisons that accept federal money must agree to refrain from putting substantial burdens on religion that are not supported by a compelling state interest.

I tried to count the ways that is fucked up, but ran out of fingers.

SOJO said...

Put it this way, when Congress, the SC, or whatever governing authority gets this anal about bankers who have broken the law, then maybe I'll start paying attention.

As it is, this is just petty power tripping. Let him have his hair. It can be overlooked.