Religious Bias

Before we get to the intelligent sports conversation that is the stock-in-trade of this column, let’s discuss Titillating Tales. On Wednesday, I asked all of you to send me stories. I want to be clear in this space that I am accepting ALL stories. What’s the funniest thing that has happened at a bar review? What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done in bungling an assignment for a partner? Have you ever tried to date a colleague? Did it end as it should, in a pile of self-loathing and salty tears? If you have a story you’d like to tell, please email it to juggalolaw@gmail.com and don’t forget to cc tips@abovethelaw.com. This is significantly cheaper than therapy and I’ve toyed around with the idea of making a T-shirt for whomever tells the best/funniest story. The T-shirt may include puffy paint and may include a picture of Garrison Keillor and may include my crude rendering of a huge monkey. The monkey’s doing terrible stuff with his one hand and the monkey’s tail is hanging down and on the tail are the words “TITILLATING TAIL WORLD CHAMPION 2013.” Now that I’m committing this thought to writing, I realize I may need to outsource the artwork. No matter.

This week, we’ve got Craig James accusing Fox Broadcasting of bias against Christian folk and O.J. Simpson stealing cookies. No weeze, Juice. Classic Encino Man reference for all my over-30 homies.

Let’s talk anything but my receding hairline.

Let’s talk sports…

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The day after the July 2013 bar exam concluded nationwide, we broke the news about a young woman of Muslim faith who was taken to task by a proctor over her religious headwear, a hijab. The proctor didn’t approach the examinee before testing on the Massachusetts exam started, or even during the lunch break — instead, the proctor passed her a note during the morning session of the exam, instructing her to remove her headscarf (even though the examinee had already received approval to wear it).

To interrupt someone during the bar exam and break their concentration over something that could’ve been taken care of when testing was not in session is not only incredibly rude, but also incredibly stupid. This is a professional exam that will determine if and when a person will be able to start their legal career. Why do something that could put their chances of passing in jeopardy? On top of that, why do something that could make it look like this was religiously motivated? This was a bad move on many levels.

From the Council on American-Islamic Relations to legal academics to the internet at large, people were upset about the way that the incident unfolded. Now the state is doing something about it…

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From earthquakes to power outages to going into labor, we’ve written about almost every kind of bar exam horror story that exists on this earth. But we’ve never seen or heard of one that has been motivated by alleged religious bias — until today.

Everyone knows that things like hats, hoods, scarves, and visors are not allowed to be worn during the bar exam. But religious headgear, like Sikh dastars and Jewish yarmulkes, is permitted, as long as special written approval has been obtained before the test from a state’s board of bar examiners.

When there’s a miscommunication somewhere along the line, things don’t always go as planned. Yesterday, a proctor in Massachusetts passed a distasteful note to a Michigan Law graduate of Muslim faith during the morning essay session. We have a copy of that note…

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