Wisconsin v. Yoder: Compulsory Education Law Violates Amish Free Exercise of Religion Hot

Wisconsin v. Yoder: Compulsory Education Law Violates Amish Free Exercise of Religion

Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger

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Decided: Wisconsin v. Yoder — The U.S. Supreme Court rules 6 to 1 that the compulsory education law in Wisconsin violated the Free Exercise Clause for Amish parents.

Justice Warren Burger writes in the majority opinion:

"The impact of the compulsory-attendance law on respondents' practice of the Amish religion is not only severe, but inescapable, for the Wisconsin law affirmatively compels them, under threat of criminal sanction, to perform acts undeniably at odds with fundamental tenets of their religious beliefs. ...

As the record shows, compulsory school attendance to age 16 for Amish children carries with it a very real threat of undermining the Amish community and religious practice as they exist today; they must either abandon belief and be assimilated into society at large, or be forced to migrate to some other and more tolerant region."

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