Court lets inmate fight for racist literature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A convicted murderer has won the right to argue to a federal judge that he should be entitled to receive hate-filled white supremacist material in a Tennessee prison because it's part of his religion.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a lower court should not have dismissed Anthony Hayes' lawsuit against the state of Tennessee and its prison system.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wants the lower court to address whether barring Hayes from receiving the mailings violated a federal law that strengthens religious freedom in prison.

Prison officials have argued the racist literature poses a security risk and should not be in the hands of a violent felon held in maximum security.

The 54-year-old inmate is serving a sentence for first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and two counts of felony escape.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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