Wednesday, June 25, 2008<

Perfect Law School Hypothetical

Did you know that adherents of the Sikh faith are required to carry a ceremonial sword (Kirpan) at all times?

I find this fascinating because it's not often that real-life facts present such a perfect law school hypothetical (say there is a religion that requires its members to carry a weapon . . . what are the limits of religious freedom in this case . . .).

There has actually been surprisingly little litigation about this issue - only a couple federal and state cases. I haven't read the full opinions, but apparently the state cases found that wearing a kirpan could not be banned (even where knives were otherwise not permitted). The federal case allowed a kirpan to be brought to a school if it were tied into a sheath and could not be removed (doesn't that violate the spirit of the kirpan?). I am somewhat surprised by these outcomes as I would think that restricting weapons would stand up to the strict scrutiny required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to restrict the practice of religion.

In any case, I support any practice that sets up such a perfect law school hypothetical.



At August 2, 2008 at 3:39 AM , Blogger NG said...

This issue probably hasn't gotten a lot of scrutiny because we don't turn on Fox News to see that another Sikh has gone on a terrorist rampage and hacked 16 people to death.

Now what if Islam required its adherents to carry around C4?


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