Just got back from oral argument at the 7th Cir Ct of Appeals. Was a little surprised to see Judge Manion, presiding judge on the 3-judge panel, wearing an ashen cross on his forehead.
I am not aware of anything prohibiting judges from wearing things that indicate their personal beliefs, and I certainly agree that he should be allowed to pursue his beliefs, and should not need to hide his beliefs. My orthodox friend brought up his yarmulke (sp.) I would not say that an observant jewish judge would have to bare his head. ;j
But I thought it might have been preferable for someone in such a position to either wipe their forehead before going on the bench, or instead receive ashes after the morning’s arguments. I see it more akin to a judge not wearing a big crucifix or star of david on a chain outside of their robes.
If I were arguing an abortion rights case or such, I certainly would be upset by seeing obvious signs of Catholicism on the decision-maker. I wonder if he checked what the docket was, or if he simply didn’t think about it?
Not a huge issue, as it only happens once a year. And may be more of an IMHO than a GD.