Knowles v. Pfister, No. 15-1703 (7th Cir. July 13, 2016).
Gilbert Knowles, an Illinois prisoner and practicing Wiccan, wants to be able to wear a small pentacle medallion, a Wiccan religious symbol, around his neck. The prison says it’s worried about “star symbols” being used as gang identifiers, but it hasn’t been able to come up with any evidence that pentacle medallions have ever caused a problem. Plus, another prisoner has testified that he’s worn a pentacle medallion since 1998 without experiencing threats or violence. So the Seventh Circuit, per Judge Posner, holds that Knowles’s “freedom of religious has been gratuitously infringed,” and directs the district court to enter a preliminary injunction allowing Knowles to wear the medallion.