The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 2 on whether the phrase “appropriate relief” in the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) alerted Texas that accepting federal funds waived its immunity from suits for money damages under the act.

Passed by Congress in 2000, the RLUIPA prohibits government from imposing burdens on worship by persons in prisons or other institutions. Italso gives religious institutions a way to challenge zoning restrictions on the use of their land that they believe are burdensome. Although the case centers on a prisoner, some religious institutions fear that a ruling against the inmate could make it harder for them to fight local zoning regulations. Eight groups have filed amici briefs in the case, one of those for the defense.

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