Thursday, January 04, 2007

Arrest Warrant Need Not Reflect Current Religious Name

In Raahkim El Bey v. Roop, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93995 (SD OH, Dec. 29, 2006), an Ohio federal Magistrate Judge held that while some state action that interferes with a person's use of his religious name would violate the Free Exercise clause, no violation occurs when a person is arrested under a warrant charging him with a crime under a different name. It was sufficient that police and federal marshals had a well-founded belief that Raahkim El Bey was the same person wanted on the arrest warrant issued for Billie Greene. The court held that a person may not "avoid criminal liability incurred under one name merely by changing that name, regardless of the religious or cultural motivation."