Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Swearing to tell the truth -- on what book?

[NEWS] The North Carolina statute provides that witnesses should place their hand on "Holy Scriptures," but what counts? A court ruled that only the Bible counts and a Muslim could not swear on the Quran. The ACLU is challenging that decision. ACLU Sues Over Court Oaths - Raleigh Durham News & Observer, July 27, 2005.

Non-believers may affirm that they are telling the truth instead of using Holy Scriptures. The problem is when people of non-Christian faiths want to use the scriptures that are holy to them. Interestingly, the law was changed to "Holy Scriptures" in 1985 -- in its earliest version (1777) the oath was to be administered upon "the Gospels."

(By the way, I got the lead to this story from How Appealing, a blog well worth watching for comments on appellate litigation and general legal news.)

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