Eighth Circuit Affirms Injunction against South Dakota Ban on Native Prisoner Tobacco Use

Here is the opinion in Native American Council of Tribes v. Weber. An excerpt:

In this appeal, we consider the South Dakota Department of Corrections’ (“SDDOC”) decision to prohibit tobacco use by Native American inmates during religious activities. In 2009, the Native American Council of Tribes (“NACT”) and South Dakota Native American inmates Blaine Brings Plenty and Clayton Creek (collectively “inmates”) brought suit against 1 prison officials from the SDDOC (collectively “defendants”)2 claiming that the tobacco ban substantially burdened the exercise of their religious beliefs in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1(a). After a three-day bench trial, the district court granted 3 injunctive relief to the inmates and directed the parties confer regarding a revised tobacco policy. On failure to agree, the district court entered a remedial order that, among other things, limited the proportion of tobacco in the mixture distributed to inmates for religious purposes to no more than one percent. The defendants appeal the grant of injunctive relief, including the remedial order. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.

Briefs here:

South Dakota Opening Brief

Native American Council Brief

US Amicus Brief

South Dakota Reply Brief

Lower court materials are here and here.

Other posts are here, here, and here.

 

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Research and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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