Supreme Court greenlights Muslim inmate's beard

In Hobbs v. Holt, the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state of Arkansas must allow inmates to grow a half-inch beard if required by their particular religion. Gregory Houston Holt, a Muslim convert, contended that the state’s ban on beards violated his rights on religious grounds.  Holt agreed to keep his beard at one-half-inch length, which, according to Chief Justice John Roberts, made the case an easy one to decide. The court clearly considered the beard issue illusory especially when the Arkansas Department of Corrections already allows beards for medical reasons and is one of only a handful of states still prohibiting beard-growing by prisoners. From CNN: In a 9-0 opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, the Court said that the prison policy in this case violated a federal statute designed to protect the religious exercise of prisoners We readily agree that the Department has a compelling interest in staunching the flow of contraband into...(Read Full Post)