Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Suit Challenges Illinois Waiver Form To Allow Drivers License Photo With Head Covering

Suit was filed this week in an Illinois federal district court on behalf of a Muslim woman who wears a hijab challenging the disclaimer that Illinois administrative rules require to be filed in order to allow a driver's license photo to be taken wearing a head covering. The complaint (full text) in Bicksler v. Illinois Secretary of State, (ND IL, filed 8/26/2019),contends that plaintiff's free exercise rights under the 1st Amendment and Illinois' Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act were violated when she was required to sign this statement:
In observation of my religious convictions, I only remove my head dressing in public when removal is necessary (such as for a medical examination or a visit to a hair dresser or barber). I do not remove the head dressing in public as a matter of courtesy or protocol (such as when entering a professional office or attending a worship service). I acknowledge that if the Director of the Driver Services Department is provided with evidence showing I do not wear a religious head dressing at all times while in public, unless circumstances require the removal of the head dressing, my driver’s license or identification card may be canceled.
CAIR Chicago issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.