Thursday, May 24, 2007

North Carolina Court Rules Quran OK For Swearing-In Witnesses, Jurors

In North Carolina today, a Wake County Superior Court judge held that witnesses and jurors may be sworn in on the text "most sacred and obligatory upon their conscience." The case was filed by the ACLU after two judges in Guilford County said that state law prohibited taking the oath on the Quran. (See prior postings 1, 2, 3.) In today's opinion, the judge cited common law and state Supreme Court precedent. The Associated Press says that the judge did not find the state statute unconstitutional that provides for the use of the "Holy Scriptures" as one way to take an oath. Nor did he hold that the term "Holy Scriptures" includes the Quran.

UPDATE: Here is the full opinion in ACLU of North Carolina v. State of North Carolina, (Super. Ct Wake Co NC, May 24, 2007). The court relied extensively on an 1856 North Carolina Supreme Court case as well as language in the state's Rules of Evidence.