Muslim Advocates represents William Doyle in his challenge to a restriction on group prayer imposed by prison officials at United States Penitentiary McCreary in Kentucky, where he is incarcerated.
Mr. Doyle is an observant Muslim whose beliefs require him to pray daily with other Muslims. Even though the prison authorizes and permits many activities in large groups, it restricts prayer–and only prayer–to groups of three prisoners or fewer, also requiring them to get permission before praying. In practice, this policy is only enforced against Muslims, while Christians and inmates of other faiths to pray in groups of more than three without needing to seek staff permission.
Mr. Doyle sued the prison without a lawyer in 2018, claiming violations of his rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and his Fifth Amendment right to equal protection under the law. The district court dismissed his claim without allowing him a chance to fully develop his case, even though the defendants failed to provide adequate justification for the prison’s discriminatory group prayer policy. Muslim Advocates represents Mr. Doyle in his appeal of the district court’s decision.
Date filed: January 3, 2018
Court(s): United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit