Friday, November 14, 2014

Sikh college student sues to gain entrance to ROTC

Hon. Royce C. Lamberth
CNN reports on a case in which, Iknoor Singh, a Sikh college student in New York, was refused enrollment in the Reserve Officers Training Corps program because he has long hair and a beard and wears a turban. The case, Singh v. McHugh, Civil Action No. 14-1906, was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Singh is represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and United Sikhs. Of note, the case was initially assigned to widely respected Judge Royce C. Lamberth, but he recused himself (apparently sua sponte) with this explanation:
In light of the extensive number of army cases I litigated in federal courts across the country involving military grooming standards, it is possible a reasonable observer could question my ability to fairly adjudicate this case.
Before he was named to the court, Judge Lamberth was an Assistant United States Attorney and, before that, an Army JAG Corps officer. The docket sheet does not yet indicate which judge will now handle the case.

Postscript: the case has been reassigned to Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

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