A Muslim inmate wins against strip-search conducted by a trans-man in 7 circuit
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  A Muslim inmate wins against strip-search conducted by a trans-man in 7 circuit
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Author Topic: A Muslim inmate wins against strip-search conducted by a trans-man in 7 circuit  (Read 1527 times)
David Hume
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« on: September 17, 2022, 08:36:56 AM »

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/West-prison-appellant-opinion.pdf

The 7th Circuit Court has just ruled that a WI state prison violated a Muslim inmate's religious freedom in 2016, when a transgender man prison guard helped conduct a strip-search on him. The inmate objected to someone he considers a woman seeing him naked.

The ruling was 3-0, SYKES, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges, are all R nominees.

Not sure if this will reach SC, and if so, it would be a major case. The ruling would be at least 6-3.

I am curious if Muslim girls sue schools that allow self-identified women seeing their naked body in the lock-rooms for violating their religious freedom, how would SC rule.
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Donerail
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2022, 12:51:04 PM »

Flaum is a Republican nominee (Ford/Reagan), but not a "Reagan judge" in the way e.g. Easterbrook is on CA7 — he's a largely non-ideological moderate. Sykes and Brennan are both very conservative.

Cert seems extremely unlikely here.
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GM Team Member NewYorkExpress
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2022, 01:08:54 PM »

I feel like the Supreme Court would get a unanimous ruling in favor of the inmate if they took the case, but there might be two separate opinions here, regardless.

The conservative wing would likely emphasize the first amendment aspect of the case, while the liberal wing would likely try to attack the concept of strip searches and argue that they are unconstitutional in most circumstances (if Sotomayor or Brown Jackson is writing that opinion) otherwise, I'd expect an opinion from them that also emphasizes the first amendment, but is either more broad (encompassing all religions, where the conservatives focus only on Christianity) or less broad (focusing only on religions that are minorities in America, while the conservative opinion deals with all religions).
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Aurelius
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2022, 02:32:10 PM »
« Edited: September 17, 2022, 02:48:25 PM by Death, Taxes, and Voting on Kidney Dialysis »

Well this is one way to scramble the usual culture war sniping.
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Josh Gottheimer Enjoyer
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2022, 09:22:56 PM »

The far right will have to decide if they hate Muslims or transgenders more.
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Aurelius
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2022, 10:17:41 PM »

The far right will have to decide if they hate Muslims or transgenders more.
The far-right nowadays is divided between religious trads and wignat edgelords. The trads will absolutely side with the Muslim. The wignats... I can't tell you, they'll probably just rant about how both these people deserve to be shot.
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2022, 11:59:14 PM »

The far right will have to decide if they hate Muslims or transgenders more.
The far-right nowadays is divided between religious trads and wignat edgelords. The trads will absolutely side with the Muslim. The wignats... I can't tell you, they'll probably just rant about how both these people deserve to be shot.

I think the Muslim inmate probably loses the intra-left public opinion war (trans x are x vs. cultural relativism) and wins the intra-right public opinion war (what you're describing), all else being equal, but I guess we'll see.
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Aurelius
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 12:17:16 AM »

The far right will have to decide if they hate Muslims or transgenders more.
The far-right nowadays is divided between religious trads and wignat edgelords. The trads will absolutely side with the Muslim. The wignats... I can't tell you, they'll probably just rant about how both these people deserve to be shot.

I think the Muslim inmate probably loses the intra-left public opinion war (trans x are x vs. cultural relativism) and wins the intra-right public opinion war (what you're describing), all else being equal, but I guess we'll see.

It'd be different for the talking heads on cable news though. They're far-partisan, not far-ideological. I think this will largely freeze them up because they can't just mindlessly demagogue.

I do think general public opinion would side with the Muslim on this one. In Scotland a few years ago where there was a bill which included a provision that for some sort of medical thing that I assume involved genitals though I forget the details, a patient had the right to request it be done by a doctor of the same gender. Someone objected to this and put up an amendment changing gender to sex. It passed overwhelmingly including most of the SNP in support. A few SNP or Greens and Lib Dems were the only ones to oppose IIRC.

It seems that public opinion is much more supportive of the trans movement on stuff that primarily involves gender presentation than on stuff in which sex itself is directly relevant.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2022, 05:20:05 AM »

I am hoping that the case is decided along the lines of public safety.

In general I support the rights of a law-abiding transgendered prison employee over a Muslim inmate who has been convicted of a serious enough crime to land him in prison.  Contraband in prisons include weapons and cellphones which can be used to introduce more contraband.  When you are in prison, convicted of a felony, a number of your rights have been taken from you by due process of law.  I am hoping that the Court will decide in the interest of the safety of prison staff (including civilian staff) and the safety of other inmates (who most of the weapons found in the possession of inmates will be used against).
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Sol
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2022, 10:37:15 AM »

Strip searches are by default degrading and dehumanizing. Ideally we should be working for a society and prison system where strip searches aren't necessary, but ultimately if we must have them they should be carried out in a way which respects the dignity of the person being searched as much as possible.

The prisoner's rationale is problematic, sure, but respecting his right to bodily autonomy is more important than anything else here.

This is a trans rights point, btw! Trans people are frequently subjected to situations where they're being searched, much more so than cis people, and frequently are put in degrading situations like this. They deserve respect and choice in strip searches as well.
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DT
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2022, 12:37:24 PM »

Freedom decision.  The prison could have easily made a religious accommodation in this case without any undue hardship.
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Aurelius
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2022, 08:31:07 PM »

^^^ case in point. If I had to guess which positions Sol and Fuzzy would take on this, knowing only that they would disagree, I'd have guessed that they would have taken the opposite positions.

Personally I agree that strip searches are so invasive that the person being searched ought to be allowed to make requests about things like this.
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Dr. MB
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2022, 03:24:43 AM »

Strip searches are demeaning and shouldn’t really be happening, especially not to this extreme extent:

Quote
when he leaves and reenters the prison, during lockdowns, before and after visits from outsiders and certain other movements within the facility, and whenever directed by a prison supervisor. Under prison policy two guards partici- pate in every strip search, one who directly performs it and another who observes to ensure that it is performed properly.

People wanna gripe over stupid sht like this when this shouldn’t be an issue. Whichever way you wanna put it, yay this is such a win for trans rights cause transgender prison guards can strip search inmates or we gotta respect religious freedom by having no haram strip searches doesn’t tackle the actual issue here.
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2022, 06:53:28 PM »

This is a RLUIPA (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) case, and one where it pretty clearly applies, so the court didn't even have to address the question of how broadly to interpret the 1st Amendment.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2022, 06:29:45 PM »

Strip searches are by default degrading and dehumanizing. Ideally we should be working for a society and prison system where strip searches aren't necessary, but ultimately if we must have them they should be carried out in a way which respects the dignity of the person being searched as much as possible.

The prisoner's rationale is problematic, sure, but respecting his right to bodily autonomy is more important than anything else here.

This is a trans rights point, btw! Trans people are frequently subjected to situations where they're being searched, much more so than cis people, and frequently are put in degrading situations like this. They deserve respect and choice in strip searches as well.

The inmate bleeding to death on a cell floor from being knifed with an inmate-made edged weapon might disagree with you.
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Sol
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2022, 10:48:05 PM »

Strip searches are by default degrading and dehumanizing. Ideally we should be working for a society and prison system where strip searches aren't necessary, but ultimately if we must have them they should be carried out in a way which respects the dignity of the person being searched as much as possible.

The prisoner's rationale is problematic, sure, but respecting his right to bodily autonomy is more important than anything else here.

This is a trans rights point, btw! Trans people are frequently subjected to situations where they're being searched, much more so than cis people, and frequently are put in degrading situations like this. They deserve respect and choice in strip searches as well.

The inmate bleeding to death on a cell floor from being knifed with an inmate-made edged weapon might disagree with you.

Not really sure how the identity of potential strip searchers matters here! Surely prisons have more than one guard capable of doing this work--and if they don't, they should.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2022, 10:56:17 AM »

Strip searches are by default degrading and dehumanizing. Ideally we should be working for a society and prison system where strip searches aren't necessary, but ultimately if we must have them they should be carried out in a way which respects the dignity of the person being searched as much as possible.

The prisoner's rationale is problematic, sure, but respecting his right to bodily autonomy is more important than anything else here.

This is a trans rights point, btw! Trans people are frequently subjected to situations where they're being searched, much more so than cis people, and frequently are put in degrading situations like this. They deserve respect and choice in strip searches as well.

The inmate bleeding to death on a cell floor from being knifed with an inmate-made edged weapon might disagree with you.

Not really sure how the identity of potential strip searchers matters here! Surely prisons have more than one guard capable of doing this work--and if they don't, they should.

The inmate should have not committed a felony that landed him in prison.  That's the bottom line.  Security in a prison is not convenient, nor is it always hospitable, but it is necessary not just for the safety of staff, but (most importantly) for the safety of the incarcerated.
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Nathan
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2022, 01:59:44 PM »

Strip searches are by default degrading and dehumanizing. Ideally we should be working for a society and prison system where strip searches aren't necessary, but ultimately if we must have them they should be carried out in a way which respects the dignity of the person being searched as much as possible.

The prisoner's rationale is problematic, sure, but respecting his right to bodily autonomy is more important than anything else here.

This is a trans rights point, btw! Trans people are frequently subjected to situations where they're being searched, much more so than cis people, and frequently are put in degrading situations like this. They deserve respect and choice in strip searches as well.

The inmate bleeding to death on a cell floor from being knifed with an inmate-made edged weapon might disagree with you.

Not really sure how the identity of potential strip searchers matters here! Surely prisons have more than one guard capable of doing this work--and if they don't, they should.

The inmate should have not committed a felony that landed him in prison.  That's the bottom line.  Security in a prison is not convenient, nor is it always hospitable, but it is necessary not just for the safety of staff, but (most importantly) for the safety of the incarcerated.

The rights of inmates are limited (often for good reasons), but they do exist, even if most of them are statutory rather than constitutional. shua is, in my opinion, correct that this was a pretty cut-and-dry case regarding religious rights granted to prisoners via statute.
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2022, 12:15:10 PM »

I would have to weigh the burden.  The transgender man was not in a position of lower status or vulnerability in this case - the Muslim man was, being that he was in prison.  The best thing to do would be to grant the Muslim man his right to not be searched or stripped in a way that was going to be aggrieving.

"Where reasonable accommodations can be made, grant a person's civil liberty", basically.

This would be a good case for a Law School to do a mock hearing or trial about since it might challenge preexisting ideologies, which is what I believe a  Law School course should do.
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Ray Goldfield
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2022, 01:27:31 PM »

This seems like it would have been extremely easy to sub in another guard, and the prison likely refused to make the inmate more uncomfortable. It's very hard to justify that.
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