University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Gonzales PC-WI-0007
Docket / Court 06-C-0244-S ( W.D. Wis. )
State/Territory Wisconsin
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On May 4, 2006, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice, challenging the constitutionality of single-faith re-entry programs in ... read more >
On May 4, 2006, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice, challenging the constitutionality of single-faith re-entry programs in federal penitentiaries. The Complaint alleged that the Bureau's ongoing 18-month Life Connections Program, and attempts to expand that program to include "single faith" programs, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

On September 13, 2006, the District Court (Judge John C. Shabaz) denied the defendants' motion to sever any claim relating to the Office of Management and Budget from the lawsuit.

Subsequent to the filing of the Complaint, the Bureau announced that it was canceling its plan to set up "single faith" programs in federal penitentiaries.

The parties entered a stipulation to dismiss the case without prejudice on November 9, 2006.

Dan Dalton - 02/17/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. whose purpose is to protect the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state by representing and advocating on behalf of its members
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
06-C-0244-S (W.D. Wis.) 11/09/2006
PC-WI-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
USCA Order Denying Rehearing en Banc 05/03/2006 (447 F.3d 988)
PC-WI-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Complaint 05/04/2006
PC-WI-0007-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Order (re severance) 09/13/2006 (2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 66745) (W.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0007-0002.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
"Single Faith" Federal Prison Programs Canceled after FFRF Files Suit: A Major Victory for FFRF! 10/27/2006
PC-WI-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
USCA Opinion 11/13/2006 (433 F.3d 989)
PC-WI-0007-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
USCA Opinion 10/15/2007 (250 Fed.Appx. 751)
PC-WI-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Evans, Terence Thomas (E.D. Wis., Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Flaum, Joel Martin (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Kanne, Michael Stephen (N.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Manion, Daniel Anthony (Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
Ripple, Kenneth Francis (Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Shabaz, John C. (W.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0007-0002 | PC-WI-0007-9000
Sykes, Diane S. (Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Williams, Ann Claire (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0005
Wood, Diane Pamela (Seventh Circuit)
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bolton, Richard L. (Wisconsin)
PC-WI-0007-0001 | PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006 | PC-WI-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Herje, Leslie K. (Wisconsin)
PC-WI-0007-9000
Sturgill, Lowell V. Jr. (District of Columbia)
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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