Georgia courts to allow religious head coverings


Georgia courts to allow religious head coverings

ATLANTA — Georgia courtrooms will allow religious headgear after last year’s arrest of a Muslim woman who refused to remove her headscarf in a west Georgia courthouse.

The Judicial Council of Georgia voted unanimously this week to allow religious and medical headgear into Georgia courtrooms. It also allows a person to request a private inspection if a security officer wants to conduct a search.

“If this had been a nun, no one would have required her to remove her habit,” said Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, who heads the Judicial Council. “I think this is a good rule, and I think it’s clear.”

The policy shift stems from the December 2008 arrest of Lisa Valentine, who was ordered to serve 10 days in jail for contempt of court after she refused to remove her hijab at a courtroom in Douglasville, a town of about 20,000 people west of Atlanta. She was released in less than a day.

I remember when this woman was arrested.
It’s always good to see an outbreak of common sense. :slight_smile:

We had a court bailiff in this county who was almost fired for wearing a yamulke. And, of course, there was the Sikh traffic control guy in NYC who wears a turban. What’s the problem?

It’s a good question.

Back in December, Chris Womack, deputy chief of operations for the Douglasville Police Department, told reporters that Lisa Valentine was arrested for ‘violating a court policy of no headgear’.

It seemed a strange enforcement of a policy which surely was aimed at hats and caps. And also likely a violation of the First Amendment.

Here is Lisa:


If the headcovering was obscuring the face where we could not see it, I could understand. But when you look at the pic DaleM posted, it is very clear this was not the case.

Outraged? Yes. I don’t believe, but I will fight tooth and nail for the right for others to do so, as long as they don’t try to take my rights away.

Now, wouldn’t it have been nice if the Thomas More Center had represented her? Have they ever represented someone not a Christian? Anyone know?

Probably not. It isn’t their mission…from their website (bolding mine):

About Us
The Thomas More Law Center is a not-for-profit public interest law firm** dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians**, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. Our purpose is to be the sword and shield for people of faith, providing legal representation without charge to defend and protect Christians and their religious beliefs in the public square. We achieve this goal principally through litigation, seeking out significant cases, consistent with our mission, where our expertise can be of service to others. We also defend and promote faith and family through media and educational efforts. Above all, the lawyers of the Thomas More Center seek to meet the highest moral and ethical standards of our Christian faith and our legal profession.

Our ministry was inspired by the recognition that the issues of the cultural war being waged across America, issues such as abortion, pornography, school prayer, and the removal of the Ten Commandments from municipal and school buildings, are not being decided by elected legislatures, but by the courts.

These court decisions, largely insulated from the democratic process, have been inordinately influenced by legal advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which seek to systematically subvert the religious and moral foundations of our nation.

BTW…“this thread has strayed.” :rotfl: :wink:

Too bad! I thought religious liberty was for everyone. The ACLU is non-partisan.

It is. If “religious liberty” was their mission, I would expect them to take on all religious cases, but their mission is to defend Christians. You have already stated that you have a problem with the Thomas More Center, there is no reason to turn it into a personal vendetta by bringing them up on completely unrelated threads. :shrug:

Non-Partisan my foot. the ACLU is netoriously left-wing.

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