FREEDOM

SCOTUS: Muslim Prisoner Can Grow Beard

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that a Muslim prisoner whose beard had been called potentially dangerous by the Arkansas Department of Correction had the right to grow facial hair for religious reasons. The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is the latest in a string of decisions that increase the scope of religion in public life. The latest, and most controversial, was the decision to allow retail chain Hobby Lobby the choice to not provide health plans that include birth control. While this ruling was unanimous, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did issue a one-paragraph concurrence arguing that unlike the Hobby Lobby decision, the Muslim man’s religious beliefs “would not detrimentally affect others who do not share petitioner’s belief.”