Judge Reconsiders Charge For Woman Who Refused To Stand

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A federal judge will reconsider his penalty for a woman who refused to stand in court.

Thirty-five-year-old Amina Farah Ali — a Muslim — refused to stand, citing her religious freedom, when a court official said “all rise” in Minneapolis federal court.

Judge Michael Davis found the woman in contempt of court 20 times, and ordered her to spend 100 days in jail.

Now a panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out all but one of those citations.

“What the court is saying here is that, in order to hold this woman for contempt, the court needs to have a compelling reason,” said Hamline law professor Jason Marisam.

Even though the judge will have to reconsider Ali’s 100-day jail sentence, she still faces sentencing for raising money for a terrorist group in Somalia — and the maximum for that crime is 30 years in prison.


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