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US House Reverses 181-Year-Old-Rule To Appease Newly Elected Muslim

For 181 years, you haven’t been able to wear head coverings on the floor of the House of Representatives. Now, however, after the election of the first hijab-wearing Muslim representative, that’s about to be changed.
According to the New York Post, the election of Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar will put an end to a rule that was originally meant to differentiate Congress from British Parliament.
Parlimentarians had a tradition of wearing hats on the floor of Westminster. Given that we took up coffee as our national beverage (and even threw that dastardly tea over the sides of some ships in Boston Harbor) to let the British know how we felt about their institutions, banning hats only seemed to come naturally.
However, in the age of Ilhan Omar, that’s changing.
“There are those kinds of policies that oftentimes get created because people who have blind spots are in positions of influence and positions of power,” Omar said Thursday.
“I think it will be really exciting to see the stuff that we notice within the rules that don’t work for a modern-day America.”
The new rules will allow head coverings for religious reasons or medical treatment. Democrat Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who has lost her hair due to chemotherapy, also applauded the decision.
“I just have a bald head and I’m somewhat getting used to it hoping that it’s a very temporary thing,” Coleman said. “I don’t think I would start wearing a (hat) now, but I recognize that if someone else has the same issue and wants to, they should be able to.”
There have been numerous changes to dress code in Congress over the years; women were forbidden to wear pants on the floor until 1993, and bare arms were first allowed under Paul Ryan’s speakership.
So, the times they do a-change when it comes to congressional styles. However, the aforementioned rules were based around gender biases and the norms of the era; there wasn’t any real or symbolic reasoning behind them. In this case, it isn’t quite that simple.
As the House’s website notes, proposals to ban head coverings dated back to 1822. In 1833, future president James K. Polk proposed that the House “provide that the members should sit in the House uncovered, unless under special leave of the Speaker.”
Others pointed out “the symbolic value of the tradition, noting that members of the British House of Commons wore hats during debate to symbolize that body’s independence from the King of England.”
In the end, head coverings were eliminated in 1837, and it’s been that way ever since.
Of course, the case could be made that a religious argument against it could have existed since 1845, when Lewis Charles Levin became the first Jewish man elected to Congress.
Kaitlin Bennett drew recognition when she took graduation photos with an AR-10 rifle.
Bennett, who advocates for campus-carry, was making the point that a few days before when she was a student what she was doing would have been illegal, but since graduating, it was legal.
Bennett, known as the Kent State Gun Girl also held an open-carry walk in September that was mobbed with hundreds of protesters who clashed with police and led to four arrests.
Her upcoming event is called “Let’s Talk Gun Rights,” and is hosted by student group Liberty Hangout. It is planned to be held in university student center.
KSU claimed that it has a policy which requires security fees for student-organized campus events. However, the student group argued that if they had to pay the $1,700 security fee the school required, they wouldn’t be able to host the talk.
“Why, you might ask, should a student group, which isn’t financially able, be required to foot the bill for security every time Antifa protesters threaten to disrupt conservative events?” the group asked on their website.
The group filed a lawsuit last week which says that the imposition of the security fee violates the students’ rights to free speech and assembly.
“Such a fee assessment against the student sponsors of the event effectively curtails their ability to hold it due to the high cost of security and amounts to a form of censorship and punishment,” the suit says, claiming that the school’s policy is “unconstitutionally vague.”
Judge John Adams said he was  “gravely concerned” that the school’s policy might infringe on Bennett and students’ First Amendment rights by using Bennett’s history on campus to affect whether she is allowed to speak.
“There should have been more communication,” Adams said. “We can’t allow protesters to shift the (financial) burden to the speaker and her organization.”
Adams said that the university didn’t seem to be making enough effort to ensure that Bennett could speak her opinions on campus without being shouted down, Advance Ohio reports.
Bennett and Liberty Hangout should not be held responsible for threat of violence or protesters, Adams claimed.
He concluded that the policy as written was too broad and granted a “temporary restraining order” on the fees.
While a full hearing will take place December 13th, Kent state will not charge the organization for fees for the November 19th event.
A spokesman for the school told the Akron Beacon in an email that Kent State will withhold sending an invoice until the hearing.

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