Beard v. Banks (2006) upheld, against a First Amendment challenge, prison
restrictions on inmates’ reading materials, reinforcing the Court’s
deference to prison officials.
The Supreme Court in 2019 granted a stay of execution to a Texas prisoner
who claimed prison rules denying him access to his Buddhist spiritual
advisor violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. In Murphy
v. Collier, the court ruled this was “denominational discrimination.”
Overton v. Bazzetta (2003) upheld prison non-contact visitation bans,
reaffirming that prisons have broad discretion in disciplinary that affect
inmates’ First Amendment rights.
The Supreme Court in Ramirez v. Collier (2022) said that a death row
inmate’s religious rights claims would likely prevail after Texas rejected
his request for a pastor to pray over him and lay hands on him at his
Turner v. Safley (1987) determined that restrictions on inmates’
constitutional rights, including those of the First Amendment, were subject
to a rational basis standard of review.
Wolff v. McDonnell (1974) said prisoners can receive confidential attorney
correspondence, but the correspondence can be opened to ensure that the
letters contain no contraband.