US Appeals Court orders new hearing in hijab case

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on Monday that a majority of its 27 judges voted to set aside the court’s earlier ruling in the case.

A federal appeals court has ordered a new hearing for a Muslim woman who was made to remove her religiously mandated headscarf by Orange County deputies in a courthouse holding cell.

A three-judge panel of the court decided in May that deputies had not violated Souhair Khatib’s rights when they ordered her to remove the head scarf for security reasons.

The incident occurred after a judge revoked Khatib’s probation for a conviction on a misdemeanor charge.

At issue is whether a courthouse holding cell qualifies as a pretrial detention facility under a federal law that protects inmates’ religious practices.

The case is scheduled for rehearing in December.

Associated Press, 14 September 2010