In a prisoner's challenge to a prison's rules regarding contraband and smuggling as applied to a pamphlet he possessed, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed in part where plaintiff failed to administratively exhaust his claim regarding the confiscation of certain papers from his cell. However, the order is vacated in part where: 1) the rules at issue were unconstitutionally vague as applied to plaintiff, both because they failed to give him adequate notice and because they failed adequately to constrain the discretion of the prison officials who had the power to impose them; and 2) the right not to be punished under one set of rules for violations of another was clearly established.
Argued: June 8, 2009
Decided: January 28, 2010
Opinion by Judge Calabresi
Sasha Samberg-Champion and Michelle Aronowitz, Deputy Solicitor Generals, New York, NY