Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, praised the U.S. Supreme Court for its unanimous ruling allowing a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas, Gregory Holt, also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad, to grow a short beard for religious reasons. The high court originally heard the case, Holt v. Hobbs, in October 2014.
The Orthodox Union, together with other leading Orthodox Jewish organizations, filed a “Friend of the Court” brief, authored by noted attorney Nathan Lewin, urging the Supreme Court to preserve the prisoner’s religious liberty and to make a broad ruling in the case.
“The Orthodox Union respects the rights of all individuals of faith to follow their religious tenets. The unanimous decision by the justices of the Supreme Court is a victory for all religions and anyone who wishes to follow his/her faith and proves that government institutions cannot place substantial burdens on religious practices,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.
The full text of the amicus brief can be read here.