Providence, RI

AU learned that the Rhode Island Supreme Court sometimes holds oral argument in religious venues across the state, and that, in the past, the court has made no effort to cover visible religious iconography. AU wrote to the court in July 2008, objecting to the court’s holding a session at a private Catholic high school in Newport — a venue featuring numerous uncovered religious items, such as crucifixes and images of saints. We received no response to this letter. We sent a second letter after the court held a session at Salve Regina University, yet another venue featuring prominent uncovered religious items, in November 2008. In December, AU received a response from the court’s general counsel, assuring us that the court sits in secular venues as well as religious venues and that the court now has a policy of covering or removing religious symbols when holding arguments in religious venues.