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AA and The U.S. Constitution

AA/NA Violates First Amendment

Posted by Live_free_or_die on October 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Hazle v. Crofoot, 2:08-cv-02295-GEB-KJM (E. D. Calif. 4-6-2010) Granting summary judgment for plaintiff on his claim that forcing him into a 12 step religious based treatment program, when he was an atheist, was a violation of the First Amendment.



Hanas v. Inner City Christian Outreach, 542 F. Supp. 2d 683, 683 (E.D. Mich. 2008) Holding that the drug court program manager and the drug court consultant were liable for actions related to referral to faith based program, when they knew of participant’s objections while in the program, and when the program denied the participant the opportunity to practice his chosen faith – Catholicism.



Americans United v. Prison Fellowship, 509 F.3d 406, 406 (8th Cir. 2007) Holding that a state supported non-coercive, non-rewarding faith based program violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution because an alternative was not available.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=1650492194115222295&q=509+F.3d+406&hl=en&as_sdt=2,6 ;


Inouye v. Kemna, 504 F.3d 705, 705 (9th Cir. 2007) Concluding that parole officer had lost qualified immunity because he forced AA on Buddhist.



Turner v. Hickman, 342 F. Supp.2d 887 (E. D. Calif. 9-30-2004) Granting injunction in prisoners favor, which removed any non-compliance with NA from his record and required secular option, even though secular alternative now available because without injunction “it would leave defendants free to return to their old ways.”



Bausch v. Sumiec, 139 F. Supp. 2d 1029, 1029 (E.D. Wis. 2001) An offender cannot be said to have freely chosen a religiously-oriented treatment program as an alternative to revocation unless a meaningful secular alternative is also offered.



Alexander v. Schenk, 118 F. Supp. 2d 298, 300 n.1 (N.D. NY 2000) The sincerity of Plaintiff's professed religious beliefs has no bearing on the Constitutional issue of whether Defendants coerced him into participating in religion or its exercise.



Yates v. Cunningham, 70 F. Supp. 2d 47, 49 (D.N.H. 1999) Injunctive relief was moot remedy and damages barred by immunity, when defendant sought order barring defendants from conditioning early release or parole on a prisoner's attendance at AA-based programs, and forcing defendants to recognize Rational Recovery as a viable alternative to AA-based programs.



Arnold v. Tenn. Bd. of Trs., 956 S.W. 2d 478, 484 (Tenn. 1997) Mandating a religious based 12 step program without a secular alternative violates the Establishment Clause.



Warner v. Orange County Dep’t of Prob., 115 F.3d 1068, 1068 (2d Cir. 1997), aff’d, 173 F.3d 120 (2d Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1003 (1999) Holding that the county governmental agency violated the Establishment Clause by requiring DUI probationer to participate in A.A.



Warburton v. Underwood, 2 F. Supp. 2d 306, 316-318 (W.D.N.Y 1998) The emphasis placed on God, spirituality and faith in a "higher power" by twelve-step programs such as A.A. or N.A. clearly supports a determination that the underlying basis of these programs is religious and that participation in such programs constitutes a religious exercise. It is an inescapable conclusion that coerced attendance at such programs therefore violates the Establishment Clause.



Griffin v. Coughlin, 673 N.E.2d 98, 98 (N.Y. 1996), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 1054 (1997) Holding that conditioning desirable privilege – family visitation – on prisoner’s participation in program that incorporated Alcoholics Anonymous doctrine was unconstitutional because it violated the Establishment Clause.



Kerr v. Farrey, 95 F.3d 472, 479-80 (7th Cir. 1996) Holding that the prison violated the Establishment Clause by requiring attendance at Narcotics Anonymous meetings which used “God” in its treatment approach.