Following an amici brief supported by the NAE and others, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in a matter involving damages for violations of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The issue is whether Congress abrogated sovereign immunity when adopting the legislation such that a state can be ordered to pay damages when state officials act in violation of RLUIPA.

In Sossamon v. Texas, Harvey Sossamon, a Texas inmate, filed a lawsuit alleging that he was unlawfully denied use of the prison chapel, because prisoners of other faiths received special accommodations not given to Christians. The lower courts agreed the law was violated but held that the state was immune from paying damages.