Got Pinstripes? In Iraq, judges must wear suits - even to pick up diapers at the store

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Reporters on the Job: After I finished interviewing an Iraqi judge about detainees (read my story here), we had some time to chat. The judge was curious about when exactly American judges were required to wear a suit and tie.

I explained that during court cases they wore a robe, and around the office they wore a suit, but beyond that they were free to wear whatever they wanted.

The judge was clearly envious. In Iraq, judges are expected to wear a suit and tie every time they leave the house, whether they’re going to court or picking up a pack of diapers at the store. It’s a status thing.

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As someone who rarely has to dress beyond business casual, I was sympathetic, but this judge seemed pretty broken up about it. He ended our conversation, tugging at his collar and saying, ‘It’s ironic. I’m a judge but I’m a prisoner to this suit.’

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