June 6, 2016—Professor Volokh was quoted by Tablet Magazine in an article addressing an argument presented by a New York Times article denouncing the practice of public pools allowing for specific accommodations on the basis of religion. The New York Times questions the legality of the practice when it was proposed as an accommodation for Orthodox Jews. Tablet Magazine points out that similar accommodations for Muslim women are currently in practice at public and private pools across the country, which was not addressed by the New York Times.
“This is a kind of religious accommodation that ends up benefiting some at the expense of others, and those are the kinds that are considered especially troublesome, especially when they involve presumptively forbidden forms of discrimination,” said Professor Volokh. “On balance, I think The New York Times is probably right as to the result although I think its rhetoric may be a bit overheated… surely the answer must be the same for Muslims.”