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March 28, 1986 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



r

21

JEWELRY APPRAISALS

NEWS

At Very Reasonable Prices

Supreme Court Rejects
Yarmulka In Military

New York (JTA) — The U.S.
Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4
margin Tuesday that the U.S.
Air Force can arbitrarily refuse
to permit an officer to wear a
yarmulka (skull cap) as a varia-
tion of its dress code regardless
of indications that it does not

A 5-4 ruling backs
the Air Force.

interfere with the performance
of his military mission.
The ruling climaxes close to
five years of litigation by Cap-
tain Simcha Goldman, an Or-
thodox rabbi (but not a chap-
lain) and his attorneys from the
National Commission on Law
and Public Affairs (COLPA).
COLPA, in an immediate
reaction, expressed disappoint-
ment at the ruling and concern
about its implications. Dennis
Rapps, COLPA's executive di-
rector and general counsel, told
the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
that he was concerned because
the Supreme Court in the past
few years has taken an "un-
favorable view of the rights of
religious minorities." The "non-
benign" ruling in the yarmulka

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case, he said, is another exam-
ple where the court "without
any factual basis, has given its
imprimatur to a . government
agency's riding roughshod over
the rights of religious
minorities."
The case began in April 1981
at Pease Air Force Base in
California, where Goldman had
served as a clinical psychologist
for three-and-a-half years and
had worn his yarmulka without
incident. After testifying as a
psychologist in favor of a defen-
dant (and against the Air Force)
in a military trial, wearing his
yarmulka, he was informed by
the base's commandant that he
was in violation of the dress
code and had to remove the
yarmulka or face a court-
martial.
Goldman, claiming that the
removal of the yarmulka vio-
lated his Constitutional right to
the free expression of religion.,
took the case to federal court in
the Washington, D.C. district.
The court ruled that his wearing
of the yarmulka was protected
by the Constitution and that the
Air Force had not demonstrated
any compelling reasons why he
should not be allowed to wear it.
The Circuit Court of Appeals,
however, reversed this ruling.

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