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
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
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 ]

Links Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Written: Jun. 04, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
06-C-0244-S (W.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/09/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
USCA Order Denying Rehearing en Banc (447 F.3d 988)
PC-WI-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/03/2006
Complaint
PC-WI-0007-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/04/2006
Order (re severance) (2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 66745) (W.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0007-0002.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/13/2006
"Single Faith" Federal Prison Programs Canceled after FFRF Files Suit: A Major Victory for FFRF!
PC-WI-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/27/2006
USCA Opinion (433 F.3d 989)
PC-WI-0007-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/13/2006
Source: Google Scholar
USCA Opinion (250 Fed.Appx. 751)
PC-WI-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/15/2007
Source: Westlaw
Judges Easterbrook, Frank Hoover Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Evans, Terence Thomas Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Flaum, Joel Martin Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Kanne, Michael Stephen Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Manion, Daniel Anthony Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Posner, Richard Allen Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
Ripple, Kenneth Francis Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Shabaz, John C. Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0002 | PC-WI-0007-9000
Sykes, Diane S. Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Williams, Ann Claire Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0005
Wood, Diane Pamela Court not on record
PC-WI-0007-0004 | PC-WI-0007-0005 | PC-WI-0007-0006
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

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