Washington D.C. – August 31, 2007: The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a lawsuit today in Dallas County District Court on behalf of Amardeep Singh, against the Honorable Albert Cercone, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 3. Singh charges religious discrimination stemming from a 2006 incident in which he was ordered out of Judge Cercone’s courtroom and threatened with arrest when he refused to remove his turban while defending himself against a traffic citation. Singh has also filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Misconduct about the incident.
"There is no question that Amardeep Singh’s rights have been violated,” said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas. “Judge Cercone not only denied Mr. Singh his basic rights to religious practice while defending himself in court, he caused him deep humiliation as well. For Singh, the turban signifies devotion to God, and is an integral part of a Sikh’s identity, just as a yarmulke is for Jewish men or a hijab is for Muslim women.”