D.C. Amendments officials said Chansley’s claims were not “religiously qualified”, but U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lambert ruled that Chansley had a right to organic food on religious grounds. The judge, appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, said the government has no right to question the legitimacy of a prisoner’s religious beliefs as long as they are honest.
“Binding the Supreme Court precedent foretells government efforts to impeach the integrity of religious claimants, by introducing evidence that adherents of the same sect will perceive their religious obligations differently,” Lambert wrote.
In Follow-up order On Thursday, Judge D.C. Prison said he could not comply with his order, so Chansley was transferred to Virginia Prison. “The sheriff there has advised that the Alexandria Detention Center is ready to accommodate the defendants’ food demands,” Lambert wrote.
A spokesman for Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lahorn confirmed Chansley’s arrival Thursday afternoon after the U.S. Marshals Service inquired about the food issue.
“The marshals asked if our facility could comply with the court order regarding this prisoner’s food,” spokeswoman Amy Bertsch said. “We have consulted with our food service contractor, Aramark, and we can meet the court’s requirements,” Amarck said.
A confusing aspect of the food dispute: Aramaic is also the food contractor for the DC prison. A prison official reportedly told the court Wednesday that the only religious food allowed under the district contract was halal and kosher.
During the Capitol storm Chansley became an iconic figure, appearing without a shirt with face paint, horns on his head and an animal skin wrapped over his shoulders. He once sat in the Senate presidency when he took over – despite a U.S. Capitol police officer begging him to leave.
The QAnon follower is now facing charges of civil disorder and police misconduct during the congressional crackdown and several other misdemeanors. He was arrested Jan. 9 in Arizona and has since been remanded in custody.