The Law: Bare Decision

When 60 applicants took a written test for the Baltimore police force last year, the top scorer was John Jerome Bruns III, a 30-year-old clerk. With his high marks and unsullied reputation in the community, Bruns appeared to be a cinch to don the blue uniform. Then Bruns disclosed that in private life he had little use for clothes, let alone uniforms. He and his family were enthusiastic members of Pine Tree Associates­a local nudist club.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Donald Pomerleau swiftly rejected Bruns' application. He contended that the presence of a nudist on his force would affect department morale, to say...

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