Miami, FL - The state of Florida cannot use the vague threat of potential budget shortfalls to deny thousands of prisoners kosher meals they request for religious reasons, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Justice Department and against the Florida Department of Corrections. The state wanted permission to discontinue the kosher meals if the estimated $12.3 million cost was needed elsewhere.

Supporters of the kosher program praised the ruling, which was released only two days after the judges heard oral arguments.... Read More: VIN