Friday, May 25, 2007
North Carolina Judge: Court Witnesses Can Take Oath With Koran
The American Civil Liberties Union argued a law that some judges said required the state's courts to use the Bible alone is unconstitutional because it favors Christianity over other religions.
The ACLU sought a court order clarifying that the law is broad enough to allow the use of multiple religious texts, or else declare the statute unconstitutional.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway ruled that a witness or juror can take a court oath using a text "most sacred and obligatory upon their conscience," citing common law and precedent of the state Supreme Court.
The judge didn't declare the law unconstitutional or rule on whether the term "Holy Scriptures" could be reasonably interpreted to mean any sacred text other than the Bible. But the ACLU still considered the ruling favorable.
"As of today all people can use the holy text of their choice," said Seth Cohen, an ACLU attorney who argued the case. "We think it's a great victory."