Supreme Court Holds State's Do Not Waive Sovereign Immunity For Inmate Claim Under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

Supreme Court Holds State's Do Not Waive Sovereign Immunity For Inmate Claim Under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

Sossamon, a Texas prisoner, sued Texas and prison officials, seeking injunctive and money damages under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act for Texas prison policies that prevented inmates from attending religious services while on cell restriction for disciplinary infractions and that barred use of the prison chapel for religious worship for these same disciplinary reasons.

The Supreme Court today rejected Sossamon's claim by affirming a lower court decision to allow summary judgement.

The Supreme Court held that in accepting federal funding, neither Texas nor any state consents to waive a state's sovereign immunity to private suits for money damages under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.


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