Detention: Law of: District Court Development

Hobby Lobby at Guantanamo?

By Wells Bennett
Monday, July 7, 2014, 9:39 AM

Have a look at this emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, filed Thursday by attorneys for Guantanamo detainee Imad Hassan. It opens:

This motion seeks a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting Respondents from depriving Petitioner of the right to participate in communal prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which commenced this year on June 28.

Petitioner’s pending application for preliminary injunction includes an argument that the deprivation of his right to participate in communal prayers violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which imposes a heightened standard of review where government substantially burdens “a person’s” religious free exercise. 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1; see Doc. #1001-1 at 29-32. The question here is whether Petitioner, as a nonresident alien detainee at Guantánamo Bay, is a “person” whose religious free exercise rights are protected by the RFRA. The Supreme Court’s newly-minted decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Nos. 13-354, 13-356, _S. Ct. _, 2014 WL 2921709 (June 30, 2014) (Hobby Lobby) compels this Court’s determination that the answer to that question is yes, and thus Petitioner is entitled to a TRO protecting his right to pray communally during Ramadan.

Respondents’ counsel have indicated that they will oppose this motion.

On Saturday, Al Jazeera ran this story about the filing.