Caldwell v. Quinlan

An inmate brought a civil rights action against the Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons, alleging that his frequent exposure to passive tobacco smoke violated his constitutional rights.  The District Court granted the Director’s motion to dismiss, holding that: 1) the Director’s failure to constantly segregate smokers from nonsmokers did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment; 2) exposure to passive smoke did not trigger protections of the due process clause; 3) the Bureau of Prisons’ smoking policy, which provided only that the warden may implement a smoking policy at his discretion, did not create a liberty interest to a smoke-free prison term; and 4) the inmate’s exposure to passive smoke did not violate his equal protection rights.  Caldwell filed a writ of certiorari (See 6.2 TPLR 3.389) asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take his case.  On October 15, 1991, the Supreme Court denied certiorari.

729 F. Supp. 4 (D.D.C. 1990), aff’d. 923 F.2d 200 (US Ct. App. D.C. 1991).