To the casual Supreme Court watcher Holt v. Hobbs will probably be known and remembered more for John Oliver’s rendition of the oral argument featuring dogs posed as Supreme Court Justices rather than what the Court held. But, for Gregory Holt, and other inmates who have been not been allowed to grow half inch beards, it is the holding they will remember.
The Supreme Court held unanimously that an inmate’s rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Rights Act (RLUIPA) were violated when he was not allowed to grow a half inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs. This case will affect correctional institutions with no-beard policies and may provide lower court’s guidance in evaluating RLUIPA claims in the corrections and land use context. Continue reading