Justices Appear Supportive of Muslim Inmate's Plea to Grow Beard

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed ready on Tuesday to allow a Muslim prisoner in Arkansas to wear a half-inch beard for religious reasons, even though a lawyer for the state said the prison’s “security objectives are undermined” by beards.

Justices were dubious, even mocking, during oral arguments on Holt v. Hobbs when Deputy Arkansas Attorney General David Curran said even a short beard could conceal contraband and enable prisoners to change their appearance easily within the prison or if they escape.

Justice Samuel Alito Jr. suggested that prison guards could detect hidden items by handing bearded inmates a comb and asking them to comb their beards out. “If there’s anything in there, if there’s a SIM card in there or a revolver or anything else you think can be hidden in a half-inch beard, a tiny revolver, it’ll fall out,” Alito said, prompting laughter on the bench and in the audience.

“You have no comparable rule about hair on one’s head, where it seems more could be hidden than in the beard,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg added.

And Justice Antonin Scalia sounded incredulous when he asked, “You think something can be concealed within a half-inch beard?” Scalia himself briefly sported a full beard in 1996.

Justices also noted that beards are allowed in the prison systems of 43 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government, with few if any reports of problems

Read more: nationallawjournal.com/supremecourtbrief/id=1202672651662/Justices-Appear-Supportive-of-Muslim-Inmates-Plea-to-Grow-Beard#ixzz3FV5tDJRQ

Is there any more to the article? You have to be a subscriber of some sort to view the link.

Not asking you to post the whole article, mind, maybe just give a precis of any remaining bits.

Sounds like a pretty bold move. Ive never heard of a Catholic prisoner demanding special treatment for religious reasons. In fact, unless this Muslim is an extremist, there is no reason he absolutely ‘has’ to grow a beard…

Clearly, the justices support Islamic extremism, masked under the cover of grooming style. :rolleyes:

…everyone knows radical islamism is a problem within the prison system. Why is the government supporting this? :shrug:

The Court doesn’t want to involve itself with minor matters such as same sex marriage. But beards–now that is important!

I predict 5-4 with Kennedy siding with the liberal justices.

I can’t wait for Justice Scalia’s scathing dissent.

I predict a unanimous decision, or perhaps 8-1.

This is the kind of pressing national concern that makes its way all the way up to the Supreme Court of the land???

A beard is hair, which is about as superficial as anything can be.

  1. The arguments against inmates having facial hair – especially a half-inch beard – are specious. You can hide contraband in longer head hair more easily than in a half-inch beard.

  2. Doesn’t being clean-shaven mean giving inmates access to razors? I’ve seen online shivs (I believe that’s the term) made by melting the end of a toothbrush handle and inserting a blade into it.

  3. Shaving is a custom with pagan origins. I would also support the right of a Jew or Christian to grow at least a nominal beard.

We have to understand the dynamics of liberalism to understand how this actually makes sense… Liberals accomplish common goals of equality and non-discrimination by taking advantage of radical opportunities.

By allowing a Muslim extremist the right to be extreme, sends a very clear message that all Muslims must not be discriminated against no matter what… In the same way, radical opportunities to promote non-discrimination against gays will take place in a radical fashion.

This seems to work very well amongst the liberal mindset, which seems to automatically absorb and decode these kinds of data transfers, and reads them as priority issues. Conservatives, on the other hand with their free thinking, see these kinds of things as senseless.

But it doesnt seem to work the other way around, which is why the radical messages of conservative, Sheriff Joe, are not automatically absorbed and accepted by liberals… There must be a certain ‘pattern’ of trust thats involved because all conservatives know that liberals are aware of the messenger… With liberals, its almost as if the content of the message is less important than who is sending the message… This who is the basis of all attention and is the main factor in the pattern.

…so a liberal justice sending out a radical declaration is a form of sounding-the-alarm!

…it rallies the troops. :smiley:

Who goes through such ‘extreme’ measures in order to grow a half inch beard? Answer: an Extremist.

These are common issues though history with the corrections system, the American Indians, Wicans and others have sued over similar issues with hair and religious events and equality, thus discrimination.

I didnt know that. I wonder how the State viewed their rights to religious grooming. I also wonder what the balance point is with personal freedom while being incarcerated -having limited freedom to begin with and how “discrimination” contrasts with freedom within the prison system.

…perhaps there could be some logic in the justices decion making on this aside from ‘rallying the troops’…? Its possible i suppose. They say anything is possible. :shrug:

Or an observant Jew.
Or a baptized Sikh.
Or a person of some other religion who is morally opposed to shaving.
Or a person with medical issues.

Not necessarily an extremist.

I do know in Canada Sikhs were permitted to wear beards and turbans in the military; the CF even issued turbans in blue (Air Force), white (Navy), and green (Army). Observant Jewish men could wear kippahs and beards. Neatness and grooming standards were maintained, with the proviso that facial hair would be removed/modified as operational or safety standards dictated.

Again, banning a half-inch beard – which is barely able to hide zits, let alone a weapon – while allowing head hair AND access to razors, just strikes me as trying to come up with a rationale for “because we said so”.

The difference here is that for muslim extremists to be orthodox in their faith calls them to do violence -which is why Islamic extremism, or any hint of it, should be treated differently than extremists of any other religion.

Abdul Maalik Muhammad, is a Yemen-trained radical extremist who enjoys stabbing or possibly slicing through the necks of females for his religion. Not only did he stab his former girlfriend in the neck and chest, but he also threatened to kidnap and kill George W Bush’s daughters as a form if jihaadi revenge.

This man, who takes his beard so seriously is an Islamic extremist, and like all islamic extremists who would demand to grow a beard in prison, he also takes jihaad seriously.

Yep, Abdul Maalik Muhammed, otherwise known as Gregory Holt is a real ladies man… :rolleyes: let us offer him equal rights to practice his radical Islamism because all religions are equal. :nope:

I believe anyone who accepts the Koran literally, is an Islamic extremist. Islamic extremism should never be treated equally with orthodoxy in other faiths, since no other faith, taken literally, leads to killing women or Christians.

I agree that it will be unanimous or nearly so. Certainly Scalia and Alito seemed skeptical of the argument that the ban was needed for security. Here is a link to a good discussion of the argument:


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