Appeals court hears arguments of Texas inmate demanding kosher food

(JTA) — A U.S. appeals court heard oral arguments in the case of a Texas prison inmate who is demanding kosher food.

Attorneys for Max Moussazadeh, who is serving a 75-year sentence for a 1993 murder, made their case Oct. 1 before a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

After Moussazadeh filed a 2005 federal lawsuit complaining that the prison system did not provide kosher food, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice started a kosher food program at one of its prisons and transferred Moussazadeh and the other prisoners requesting a kosher diet there.

But Moussazadeh was transferred later to a high-security prison that does not provide free kosher meals, though he can purchase them from the commissary. 

The court likely will rule on the case in several months.

Moussazadeh also is being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a Washington-based nonprofit organization.

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