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G. Daniels v. The City of Arlington, Texas

Read the George Daniels v. City of Arlington Texas Case (reference: 246 F.3d (5TH CIR.) 2001)

1. Are you in agreement with the court's decision?
2. How can the freedoms of religion and speech be balanced against an employer's dress code?
3. Why do some people insist on wearing religious paraphernalia, and why do some people find it intolerable?

Solution Preview

The case is about Daniels, a police officer for 13 years, against Arlington Police Department. At first, he occupied a plainclothes position. As such, over his shirt, he wore a cross pin which is a symbol of his evangelical Christianity. However, even until he was reassigned to a uniformed position, he continued wearing such pin, despite the imposition of no-pins policy under Arlington Police Department Administrative Order No. 205.02. As noted in the case, he continued to wear the pin after he was reassigned to a uniformed position, which brought him into conflict with Arlington Police Department General Order No. 205.02(C)(2)(c) ("the no-pins policy").   The General Order, as revised in November 1997, states that:  "No button, badge, medal, or similar symbol or item not listed in this General Order will be worn on the uniform shirt unless approved by the Police Chief in writing on an individual basis."

Daniels' request for exemption from the policy was denied, despite his claim that there was infringement of his religious right. As further noted in the case, Police Chief David Kunkle declined, writing to Daniels that "I have not authorized any non-department related pins and I do not intend to do so."

The district court rejected Daniels's argument that the police chief's order to remove his ...

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