Put a spell on you
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit gave hope to Wiccan inmates that their religion will be represented in California prisons. A three-judge panel overturned a district court’s dismissal of a suit brought by female prisoners who argued the refusal to hire a full-time Wiccan chaplain violated their rights. They argued that at the Central California Women’s Facility in Cowchilla, there are more Wiccan than Jewish, Muslim or Catholic inmates. The court agreed that a possible "unconstitutional endorsement" of one religion over another might exist.
Wicca is a pagan religion that seeks to revive pre-Christian practices, including magic. Wiccan minister Patrick McCollum told the Lake Wylie Pilot that the region gets a bad rap but "has nothing to do with Satan." — Richard Binder
A Florida appeals court has reversed a state trial judge’s finding that a minor was guilty of trespassing, citing the obvious fact that he was in a city park while it was open to the public. Police warned a group including the kid one evening after sunset, when the facility was closed, to "stay out of the park." He was arrested when he returned during daylight. The court said the law shouldn’t punish "otherwise innocent and legal conduct by minors." — Daily Business Review
Toke up, tourists! That’s what a Colorado task force has recommended as part of the state’s voter-approved marijuana law. The panel said nonresidents should be permitted to buy and consume marijuana while visiting the state. At the same time, the shops selling marijuana could not be owned by nonresidents. Critics warn that aspect of the plan might run up against both federal anti-drug laws and the U.S. Constitution’s privileges and immunities clause, which forbids discrimination against residents of other states. Task force member Sam Kamin of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law argued that shouldn’t be a problem — since federal law prohibits anyone from owning a pot retailer, the privileges and immunity clause doesn’t apply. — Leigh Jones
Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against rapper Armando "Pitbull" Perez has been dismissed and the actress’ attorney fined $1,500 after the judge found evidence of plagiarism in her court papers. The lyrics of Perez’s song Give Me Everything include the passage: "So, I’m tiptoein’, to keep flowin’/I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan." In her suit against the rapper and record companies, Lohan claimed that use of her name violated New York’s Civil Rights Law. The judge noted the material wasn’t used in any advertising. — Associated Press