Court to let woman sue over headscarf removal

October 3, 2011 - 10:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will let a Muslim woman sue Southern California jailers for making her take off her head scarf in a courthouse holding cell.

The court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Orange County, Calif., officials, who were sued in 2007 by Souhair Khatib.

Khatib had gone to the Orange County Superior Court to ask for more time to complete her community service. But a judge ordered her jailed, and jailers forced Khatib to remove her head scarf.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments that holding cells aren't covered by a federal law protecting the religious practices of prisoners. They also ruled Khatib had the right to wear the scarf unless jailers could show it was a security risk.