Field trip or ploy? Judge briefly bars Muslim kids' visit

AP News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2017 10:49 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Some Islamic school students in New York got a surprise civics lesson when a federal judge briefly barred them from a courtroom, saying she believed their presence was a ploy to influence the jury.

The unusual move came at a trial in which the U.S. government is trying to seize a Manhattan skyscraper it says is secretly owned by Iran. A social studies teacher who accompanied the students said the judge was out of line.

Judge Katherine Forrest eventually let the 16 Razi School students and their two teachers into the courtroom Wednesday in time for them to hear a lawyer ask if their white head scarves were to blame for the snub.

The judge angrily denounced the suggestion. She said she thought the students' visit was "gamesmanship" by lawyers.