Judge Apologizes for Ordering Woman to Leave Court for Not Removing Headscarf

February 1, 2006

Source: U.S. Newswire


On February 1, 2006 a U.S. Newswire Press Release stated, "The Seattle, Wash., office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Seattle) today thanked a Tacoma judge who offered an apology to a Muslim woman who was ejected from court for refusing to remove her religiously- mandated headscarf. CAIR-Seattle also applauded a new policy being formulated to allow religious exemptions to rules prohibiting head coverings in that state's courtrooms. The Washington, D.C. based group had intervened on behalf of the woman who was ordered to leave the courtroom of Tacoma Municipal Court Judge David B. Ladenburg on January 25. That incident prompted the decision to alter the head covering policy to allow both religious and medical exemptions... In a letter to CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, Judge Ladenburg wrote: 'I offer my sincerest apology for any discomfort, embarrassment or humiliation she may have felt as a result of my request. My request was a result of sincere and earnest desire to maintain a policy that would be fair to all individuals. There was never intent to discriminate based on religious preference. I will be glad to offer my apology personally should she so desire.'"