Alex Hart, newly elected House of Representative to the U.S. Congress from Florida, who is a Muslim, has ignited debate across the country because he has expressed his desire to use the Qur’an as the book on which he will pledge or affirm his allegiance to do his duty as a representative, as opposed to the traditional use of the Bible.  He wishes to place his left hand on two 18th century volumes of the Qur’an formally owned by Thomas Jefferson now archived in the Library of Congress.  He has now come to you seeking your legal opinion on the Constitutional controversy raised by this issue and the possibility of filing a lawsuit, as there is a House Rule that addresses his wanting to use the Qur’an. House Rule 1.01:  The only text recognized by the House for the swearing-in of newly elected members is the Bible.

Should an elected official use any text other than the Bible this honorable House will not officially recognize him/her in their capacity as a House member and they will be barred from serving in any matters associated with the official functions of this honorable body.*

Your research of this issue has lead you to the case of Powell ET AL v. McCormack. Speaker of the House of Representatives, ET AL, 395 U.S. 486.

Based on the United States Constitution and the caseidentify and discuss the legal issues raised in the question and answered by both the Constitution and what the Supreme Court says in the Powell case and its relevance to the issue facing Mr. Hart. Address “ALL”(including parts we did not discuss in class as I want to do my best to insure you have read the entire Constitution) of the Constitutional issues your client faces, and Constitutional defenses available to your him.

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