A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas, Gregory H. Holt (also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad), can grow a short beard for religious reasons. The case is The case is Holt v. Hobbs, 13-6827. It represents a trifecta loss. The federal magistrate (Joe J. Volpe), the district court judge (Brian S. Miller), and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judges Bye, Arnold, and Shepherd) all ruled against Holt only to see a unanimous Supreme Court reject their reasoning. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor both wrote concurring opinions.
by Charlton (Chuck) Stanley, weekend contributor
One year ago this month, I posted my first blog as a weekend guest blogger. You can read it here. That story involved a major oil spill when the Exxon Pegasus pipeline ruptured at Mayflower. That pipeline was carrying tar sands oil. Thousands of gallons of raw oil spilled from the rupture into the south end of Lake Conway and parts of Mayflower. Oil ran down the streets of the small town.
A small geography lesson. Little Rock is located in almost the exact center of the state. Little Rock and North Little Rock are bisected by the Arkansas River. Conway is about thirty miles northwest of Little Rock. Mayflower is between Conway and Little Rock and considered by local people to be a suburb of both cities.
At about 7:00 PM Central Time, a massive tornado hit Mayflower. The total number of dead and injured is not known yet, but an early breaking news story says a body was found near I-40. Cars, trucks and recreational vehicles are shown piled up like jackstraws in some of the photos posted to social media and news sites. The twister was reported by storm chasers to be a half-mile wide.
Submitted by Charlton Stanley, guest blogger
This is my first post as a Guest Blogger. I am honored and humbled to be invited to post at one of the most respected legal opinion blogs on the ‘net. I will try to maintain the high standards already set by the heavy hitters already posting here. Thank you, Professor Turley, and all the other guest bloggers and regulars here. I have been posting here and on other blogs under the username Otteray Scribe. Otteray is the Cherokee name for the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live. When in the fourth grade, I learned about the scribes of old Europe. The idea of someone actually having a job writing things down for people who were illiterate fascinated me. My username combined two of my favorite words. Blue Ridge writer. That’s me.
Just a bit of background about me. I am a forensic psychologist with about 41 years of trying to get it right. I am passionate about my work, aviation, photography and my family. Other interests include law enforcement and corrections. In future stories, I plan to write about all those subjects. Hopefully, over the past four decades I learned a few things worth sharing.
For my first effort, I wanted to focus on how people who know little of aviation get a news story, and then mangle it into something that it is not. This is not new. There was a time not long ago when any kind of general aviation airplane crashed, it was described in the press as a, “Piper Cub.” Cubs are seldom seen these days, so that descriptor has evolved to a, “small Cessna.” Perhaps this story will set the record straight, and tamp down some of the ‘Hair-On-Fire’ hyperbole about flight restrictions over the oil spill in Arkansas. This environmental disaster is personal to me. At one time, I lived and worked only a few miles from Mayflower, and have flown in and out of the Conway airport many times.
Misinformation, hyperbole and conspiracy theories have been rampant about the flight restrictions around the oil spill at Mayflower, Arkansas. The problem started when local news media referred to Exxon-Mobil getting the FAA to establish a “no-fly” zone around the oil spill. To be clear, this is a completely different issue than what is happening on the ground. Links to some of those stories are at the end of this piece.