Published on: Friday, March 24, 2023

Former federal inmate, a devout Muslim, sues under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, alleging that when he would try to perform his required daily prayers during shift breaks at the prison commissary where he worked, prison guards—who also said "There is no good Muslim but a dead Muslim" and put a sticker on his back reading "I love pork bacon"—would follow him and deliberately interfere by making noises, talking loudly, and kicking boxes. Guards: We're entitled to qualified immunity. I mean,  what gov't official could possibly know that violated the law? Third Circuit: You two. You two could have known. Quite frankly, it “should be clear to any reasonable correctional officer that, in the absence of some legitimate penological interest, he may not seek to prevent an inmate from praying in accordance with his faith.” No qualified immunity.

The case is Mack v Yost, No. 21-2472 (3d Cir. Mar. 21, 2023).