Judge Takes One Look At What Woman's Wearing - Bans Her From Court

A woman just trying to do her job was shamed by a judge in court, and banned from coming back. The judge blasted the female reporter for wearing a sleeveless blouse. The reporter believes she's a victim of discrimination.

It was a hot summer day in Ogden, Utah, and reporters were lining up to go into a court house so they could report the news. Journalist Morgan Briesmaster attempted to get through security, but she was turned away. She was told that her blouse was a violation of the dress code.

The blouse, with a conservative cowl neckline, covered Briesmaster up to mid-throat, showing no cleavage. The blouse was sleeveless, however, and her shoulders were visible. This is apparently a problem.

Briesmaster and a colleague had gone to the courthouse that day together. The reporter waited in the lobby while her colleague went into the courthouse to cover the news. During the break, the two rushed back to the office to find a jacket or something to cover up Briesmaster's shoulders.

All they could find was a parka, which wasn't the ideal wardrobe choice with temperatures in the high 80s. Still, Briesmaster was determined to do her job, and returned to the court house wearing the coat.

“It’s pretty warm outside to be wearing a jacket,” the security guard sarcastically remarked.

“It sure is,” Briesmaster responded, but she went in, sat down and kept the coat on during the remainder of the day.

The courthouse dress code is not available on the court room's website, but upon investigation, New York Daily News editors were eventually able to track it down. Tank tops are considered a violation, but usually it's for the bailiff to enforce the code, not security guards.

“He probably just had a bad day,” Briesmaster told the New York Daily News about the security guard. “I was shocked that I couldn’t do my job because I wasn’t wearing capped sleeves.”

Dress codes for women have come up occasionally, such as earlier this summer when a female journalist tried to get into a Senate meeting with a sleeveless dress on. She felt that her attire was appropriate for a hot day and that she was facing discrimination; however, male journalists were quick to point out that they’re required to wear a jacket and tie at all times, despite the heat.

This wasn’t the case in this courtroom, however, where the dress code was much laxer. Male reporters in line were let in wearing jeans and low-cut shirts. No one seemed to criticize their attire. Briesmaster points out, however, that many people, including defendants, wore skimpier attire than she did. She wants to get the word out that as a journalist, she should have access to public information.

Nancy Volmer, the public informant for the court, told the Standard Examiner, "This sounds very unusual. I’ll let the court executive know about the situation and ask him to talk with the security guards at the screening area to clarify procedures. For now, I suggest she not wear sleeveless tops.”

Source: NY Daily News, Cooking Panda
Photo: Standard Examiner

The guard took issue with this shirt.

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