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U.S. high court agrees to hear case on prison grooming policy

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an Arkansas prison inmate's challenge to the prison's grooming policy.

In a hand-written petition, Gregory Holt asked the court that he be allowed to grow a beard in accordance with his Muslim beliefs. He argued that the prison grooming policy violated his religious rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

The court had already signaled its interest in the case in November when it said Holt could grow his beard while he contested the policy.

Holt is serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery at the Varner Supermax prison, according to the Arkansas Department of Correction's website.

The court will hear arguments and decide the case in its next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2015.

The case is Holt v. Hobbs, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-6827.

(Editing by Howard Goller and Bernadette Baum)

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