Brief filed: 06/22/2016
Nordstrom v. Ryan
9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 16-15277
Decision below 128 F.Supp.3d 1201 (D.Ariz. Feb. 5, 2016).
Outgoing inmate legal mail should be held to the highest protective constitutional standard. Arizona's outgoing legal mail policy is overbroad. The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC's) outgoing legal mail policy lacks procedural safeguards. The ADC policy does not legitimately further the interests of penal administration. The ADC outgoing legal mail policy functions as an automatic privilege waiver. Overbroad legal mail policies raise Eighth Amendment and due process concerns. ADC's outgoing legal mail policy is particularly likely to violate the rights of death row inmates. ADC's outgoing legal mail policy is particularly likely to violate the rights of pretrial detainees.
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Robin E. Wechkin, Sidley Austin LLP, Seattle, WA; Elliot Dolby Shields, New York County Lawyers Association, New York, NY.