Injunction Request Ruling by Sikh Marine Recruits Could Take Months
(photo Mark Abramson/Sikh Coalition)
WASHINGTON, DC – Attorneys from the Sikh Coalition, its pro bono co-counsel at Winston & Strawn LLP, and litigation partners at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and BakerHostetler argued on June 28 for the religious rights of three Sikh U.S. Marine recruits before U.S. District Court Senior Judge Richard J. Leon.
As a reminder, on April 11, the Sikh Coalition had filed suit against the U.S. Department of Defense on behalf of four clients: USMC Captain Sukhbir Singh Toor and pre-accession Marine recruits Milaap Singh Chahal, Aekash Singh, and Jaskirat Singh to allow them to keep their beards and wear turbans.
“We hear frequently from military and civilian leaders alike that ‘diversity is our nation’s greatest strength,’” said Amandeep S. Sidhu, partner at Winston & Strawn LLP. “Despite this truth, the USMC has chosen to keep our clients–who have already found to be qualified for service–in limbo for more than a year before effectively telling them they would have to renounce their faith during boot camp. It is past time to resolve this issue and let them move forward with their careers and their lives.”
Judge Leon said the matter could take years to resolve given the lengthy court process, injunction attempts, and expected appeals by both sides. His ruling on the injunction request will probably take months, he said.