Supreme Court rules in favor of Texas death row inmate

The Supreme Court has issued its decision in Ramirez v. Collier, ruling that under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), John Ramirez was entitled to a preliminary injuction ordering Texas to permit Ramirez's long-time pastor to pray with him and lay hands on him while he is being executed.  Therefore, if Texas reschedules Ramirez’s execution and declines to permit audible prayer or religious touch, the District Court should enter appropriate preliminary relief.  If that happens, Texas can then attempt to justify its position by establishing a compelling state interest that cannot be acheived by a less-restrictive alternative.  The Supreme Court observed, in closing: 

Further proceedings on remand, if necessary, might shed additional light on Texas’s interests, and on whether its policies are narrowly tailored. But such proceedings might also contribute to further delay in carrying out the sentence. The State will have to determine where its interest lies in going forward.