In Michigan
10:48 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Mich. court gives judges say in witnesses' dress

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court is giving judges more authority over how witnesses dress in court after a Muslim woman refused to remove her veil while testifying in her
small claims case.

The high court voted 5-2 Wednesday to approve a statewide court rule letting judges regulate the appearance of witnesses. Two dissenters said there should be an exception for people whose clothing is dictated by their religion.

Justices heard last month from a Muslim woman who sued after her small claims case was dismissed when she refused to remove her veil.

Hamtramck District Judge Paul Paruk told Ginnnah Muhammad he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness. The 45-year-old from Detroit kept her niqab on during the 2006 hearing.