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Was Scalia’s Inauguration Hat a Birth Control Mandate Protest?

by on January 25, 2013

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wore an unusual hat to President Barack Obama’s Inauguration ceremony Monday. Some observers speculate that the hat symbolized religious conscience protections and was worn to protest efforts by the Obama administration to enforce a birth control mandate on religious groups.

  • Antonin Scalia
    (Photo: The Atlantic Wire)
    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Jan. 21, 2013.
  • Thomas More
    (Photo: Hanz Holbein)
    Hans Holbein, the Younger painting of Sir Thomas More, 1527.
Kevin Walsh, associate professor of law at the University of Richmond School of Law, recognized the hat. It was a gift from the St. Thomas More Society of Richmond, Va. Designed to be a replica of a hat worn by St. Thomas More in a portrait by Hans Holbein, the Younger, it was presented to Scalia in November 2012, at the group’s 27th annual Red Mass and dinner.


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