Saturday, October 14, 2017

Court Rejects Challenges To Policies Protecting Muslim Women Booking Photos

In Schlussel v. City of Dearborn Heights, (ED MI, Oct. 11, 2017), a Michigan federal district court rejected various challenges by a journalist to a partial denial of her state Freedom of Information Act request for booking photos and videos that were taken of a Muslim woman with her hijab removed.  The city denied the request under the state FOIA's privacy exception.  In the meantime the city had modified its booking procedures-- in response to litigation-- to allow women to continue to wear their hijabs or burkas in booking photos.

The court rejected claims by plaintiff, who was female and Jewish, that her equal protection rights were violated because the photos and videos in question had been released to a Muslim male who was the Muslim woman's lawyer.  The court also rejected a claim that the city's new booking policy violates the Establishment Clause because it applies only to Muslim women.