I am excited to announce that my student Comment, "The Niqab in the Courtroom: Protecting Free Exercise in a Post-Smith World," has been selected for publication in volume 159 of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. I spent a full year researching, writing and editing this work, and I am so glad it is being published. You may read the comment online here.
The Penn Law Review sent out a short notice to our members introducing my comment. I include it here for you to get an idea of what is is about:
Adam's Comment deals with the controversy surrounding an effort by the state of Michigan to restrict the right of Muslim women to appear in court wearing a niqab, or face-veil. After an introduction to the American Muslim community and the Supreme Court’s Free Exercise jurisprudence, the paper considers several methods by which a reviewing court could apply strict scrutiny to a rule like Michigan’s, focusing on the “hybrid-rights” theory that currently divides the Courts of Appeals. It then evaluates the interests proffered as compelling reasons for the ban, and presents legal and empirical evidence suggesting that these are not sufficiently compelling and narrowly tailored enough to overcome strict scrutiny. By showing why even individuals at the outer edges of the law still have a strong claim for a religious exemption, this Comment makes jurisprudential space for the vast majority of religious adherents to exercise their religious freedom within the halls of American justice.
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