Written by Don Byrd
Day three of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court continued with questioning from Senators. While religious liberty did not figure prominently into the discussion as it did during day two (see previous post), it did come up in a substantive way during one exchange, which you can watch below.
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) asked Judge Gorsuch to explain the Yellowbear case (which I also profiled in my post analyzing his prisoner rights cases). Yellowbear involved an inmate’s claim under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) that his religious liberty rights were violated when he was denied access to a sweat lodge, which is important to his religious beliefs. Judge Gorsuch explained his application of the law, which extended the protections found in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to prison inmates.