OU Urges Broad Ruling by SCOTUS to Reject Limitations on Male Facial Hair in Prison

06 Oct 2014

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, called for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against the Arkansas prison regulations that compel religiously observant men to violate their beliefs and either shave their beards entirely or limit the length of the beard to one half-inch. The high court is scheduled to hear the case in question, Holt v. Hobbs, on Tuesday, October 7.

The Orthodox Union, together with other leading Orthodox Jewish organizations, filed a “Friend of the Court” brief, authored by noted attorney Nathan Lewin, arguing that the Supreme Court should follow the rule in the 41 jurisdictions that “impose no limitation whatever on male facial hair in prison and permit beards to be grown in prison to any length.” Such an interpretation of the federal Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act―a religious freedom statute the OU helped craft and pass into law in 2000—would bar all future attempts to deny religious individuals the right to follow their faith and grow facial hair.

Read the full statement on the OU Advocacy website.