FW: 75% of Minneapolis airport taxis refuse customers with
PFink at albanylaw.edu
Fri Sep 29 10:07:11 PDT 2006
Sounds like Plessy v. Ferguson to me. Separate but equal cabs. No
How far are we willing to take this: what if they say they won't carry
people who wear a cross a necklace with the Buddha (a pagan symbol for a
devout Muslim); what about a Chistian cab driver who won't pick up
someone with muslim or sikh garb? It seems to me that this is a civil
rights violation on the part of a common carrier. The Taxi driver gets
a license to carry peopel from place to place and may not discriminate
on the basis of religion or race or anything else.
How about this:
Orthodox Jew gets in a cab in Minneapolis with a bottle of kosher wine
he has brought back from a trip. It is for his religious observance.
It is Friday an hour before sundown. Cab drivers refuse take him home
and finally when one arrives that will, it is too late to get home
What if the cab driver is a member of an Aryan Identity church and
won't take black patrons?
The whole thing sounds unconstitutional and racist; common carriers
have an obligation to accept all passengers. Otherwise they are not
Albany Law School
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
and Public Policy
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, New York 12208-3494
pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>> VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu 09/29 12:31 PM >>>
The color coding sounds like a pretty good accommodation to me.
About three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport are Somalis, many of them Muslim. And about
times each day, would-be customers are refused taxi service when a
driver sees they're carrying alcohol.
"It's become a significant customer-service issue,"
said Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports
Commission, on Thursday.
Now the airports commission has a solution:
color-coding the lights on the taxi roofs to indicate whether a driver
will accept a booze-toting fare. The actual colors haven't been
on yet, but commission officials met Thursday with representatives of
the taxi drivers and the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American
Society to continue working on the plan.
The airports commission has struggled with the issue for several
Alcohol is a serious concern for devout Muslims, said Hassan Mohamud,
imam and vice president of the society. The Qur'an, Islam's holy book,
strictly forbids buying, selling, drinking or carrying alcohol.
The observant drivers object only to transporting openly displayed
alcohol, said Ali Culed, a Somali Muslim who's been driving an airport
cab for eight years. They won't search passengers or quiz them about
what's in their bags.
"It is a religious issue," Culed said. "I cannot force anybody to
their belief, but not in my cab. I don't want the guilt. I just want
be an innocent person."
Hogan said taxi starters at curbside will look for duty-free bags with
bottles or other obvious signs of alcohol and steer riders to cabs
drivers don't object to booze....
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