NEW YORK (JTA) – A federal appeals court handed a victory to a Jewish convert fighting for kosher food in a Nevada prison.
In its Dec. 2 ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court must determine the sincerity of Lawrence Seville Parks’ religious beliefs if the trial is to move forward, The Associated Press reported.
Parks has claimed that his constitutional rights were violated because he was initially refused kosher food on the grounds that he couldn’t show a "hereditary connection" to Judaism or deep understanding of the religion. Parks is a black convert.
In September, officials at Ely State Prison in Nevada began providing Parks with kosher food after he reportedly lost about 45 pounds. The appeals court ruling determined that his claim for damages isn’t erased because he is now receiving the food.