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Bumf*ck Tar Heel judge denies use of Quran for oath

News & Record file photo

“Everybody understands what the holy scriptures are. If they don’t, we’re in a mess.”
— Guilford County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Albright, dissing the Quran as a substitute for taking the oath on a bible.

Ah, here’s today’s mind-expanding NC story, from the Greensboro News and Record. NC state law allows people to swear to tell the truth instead of using a bible, and that is treated the same by law. Apparently using the Quran was just too much for this Tar Heel judge to handle.

The decision by local court officials to deny the use of the Quran for oaths has garnered national media attention and the scrutiny of a Washington-based Islamic civil rights group. Officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Tuesday that statements by Guilford County’s top judge seem to endorse a particular religion and could be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Guilford Senior Resident Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Albright told the News & Record last week that an oath taken on the Quran is not a lawful oath under state law. The law refers to laying one’s hand on the “Holy Scriptures.”

…Arsalan Iftikhar, the council’s legal director, said Tuesday that his organization sees those statements as a possible state endorsement of religion and thus perhaps a violation of the establishment clause in the First Amendment. The clause says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that any local, state or federal law that seems to place a preference on Christianity above any other religion would probably violate the establishment clause, he said. If someone brought a lawsuit to challenge the policy, “It very well could make its way up the federal legal ladder,” he said.

Albright was attending a judicial conference in Asheville Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

Thanks to Ms. Julien for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding