How State Photo Identification Standards Can Be Used to Undermine Religious Freedom

Asian American Law Journal: Volume 19 (2012)

7 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2013 Last revised: 28 Jan 2013

Rajdeep Singh Jolly

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 23, 2013

Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to highlight a latent threat to religious freedom in the post-9/11 environment. In the absence of state laws that track the language of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, state legislatures motivated by anti-Muslim bias can harm religious minorities by enacting facially neutral and generally applicable laws that forbid headcoverings in driver license photographs. If such laws are enacted, individuals who wear religious headcoverings can be forced to choose between religious freedom and valid identification cards, without which travel and economic transactions become exceedingly difficult. As a safeguard against this deprivation of religious freedom, this essay argues for more robust civil rights protections at all levels of American government, including wider adoption of state versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Suggested Citation

Jolly, Rajdeep Singh, How State Photo Identification Standards Can Be Used to Undermine Religious Freedom (January 23, 2013). Asian American Law Journal: Volume 19 (2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2204832

Rajdeep Singh Jolly (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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