Hobby Lobby decision’s impact spreads to Gitmo

Now a week after the Hobby Lobby was handed down, the impact of that 5-4 decision is spreading far and wide.

In Hobby Lobby, a divided court decided that a corporation was a person under the law, and so could be granted freedom of religious expression, under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

On this basis, a group of lawyers working for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, through a nonprofit group called Reprieve, have filed suit to invoke the ruling. The prisoners have not been allowed to observe Ramadan or to prayerfully recite the Qu’ran since their detention. This, Reprieve argues, clearly goes against their religious freedom as established in the RFRA.

Perhaps most striking is the argument over what constitutes a person–the crux of this case:

The detainees’ lawyers said courts have previously concluded that Guantanamo detainees do not have “religious free exercise rights” because they are not “persons within the scope of the RFRA.”

But the detainees’ lawyers say the Hobby Lobby decision changes that.

“Hobby Lobby makes clear that all persons – human and corporate, citizen and foreigner, resident and alien – enjoy the special religious free exercise protections of the RFRA,” the lawyers argued in court papers.

Read the whole article here.

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