There is principal opinion which is stated on page 133 of the appendix, we view this case as involving solely a parents’ right of religious freedom to bring up his children as he believe God dictates. I join the opinion and judgment of the Court because I cannot [p238] say that the State's interest in requiring two more years of compulsory education in the ninth and tenth grades outweighs the importance of the concededly sincere Amish religious practice to the survival of that sect. Engel v. Vitale (1962) Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) This is the currently selected item. On the basis of such considerations, Dr. Hostetler testified that compulsory high school attendance could not only result in great psychological harm to Amish children, because of the conflicts it would produce, but would also, in his opinion, ultimately result in the destruction of the Old Order Amish church community as it exists in the United States today. Pierce, of course, recognized that where nothing more than the general interest of the parent in the nurture and education of his children is involved, it is beyond dispute that the State acts 'reasonably' and constitutionally in requiring education to age 16 in some public or private school meeting the standards prescribed by the State. It is one thing to say that compulsory education for a year or two beyond the eighth grade may be necessary when its goal is the preparation of the child for life in modern society as the majority live, but it is quite another if the goal of education be viewed as the preparation of the child for life in the separated agrarian community that is the keystone of the Amish faith. 571, 69 L.Ed. The “Moral Majority” came to be a strong voice for protecting established religions and thrived during the Nixon Administration. Here, as in Pierce, the children have no effective alternate means to vindicate their rights. It is not the question of private education or public education or how much one should be aided over the other. Mr. Justice Brennan, those are all elementary schools. That I think is safe to say that we would not be here.
As the child has no other effective forum, it is in this litigation that his rights should be considered. Douglas stated that they may want to be various professions outside of those traditionally offered by the Amish community. It follows that in order for Wisconsin to compel school attendance beyond the eighth grade against a claim that such attendance interferes with the practice of a legitimate religious belief, it must appear either that the State does not deny the free exercise of religious belief by its requirement, or that there is a state interest of sufficient magnitude to override the interest claiming protection under the Free Exercise Clause. These are not schools in the traditional sense of the word. ..'. Since the children of the other respondents did not testify as to their view of education, Douglas dissents on the decision to allow the other respondents’ children to stop attending schools. They are the finest natural farmers in the western hemisphere. 1526. hey believe that a person should be able to read and write and communicate. Dr. Hostetler testified that, though there was a gradual increase in the total number of Old Order Amish in the United States over the past 50 years, "at the same time, the Amish have also lost members [of] their church," and that the turnover rate was such that "probably two-thirds [of the present Amish] have been assimilated non-Amish people." By preserving doctrinal flexibility and recognizing the need for a sensible and realistic application of the Religion Clauses.
However read, the Court's holding in Pierce stands as a charter of the rights of parents to direct the religious upbringing of their children. Long before there was general acknowledgment of the need for universal formal education, the Religion Clauses had specifically and firmly fixed the right to free exercise of religious beliefs, and buttressing this fundamental right was an equally firm, even if less explicit, prohibition against the establishment of any religion by government. STEWART, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which BRENNAN, J., joined, post, p. 237. See, e.g., J. Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (1948); D. Elkind, Children and Adolescents 750 (1970); Kohlberg, Moral Education in the Schools: A Developmental View, in R. Muuss, Adolescent Behavior and Society 193, 199-200 (1971); W. Kay, Moral Development 172-183 (1968); A. Gesell & F. Ilg, Youth: The Years From Ten to Sixteen 175-182 (1956). As a result of their common heritage, Old Order Amish communities today are characterized by a fundamental belief that salvation requires life in a church community separate and apart from the world and worldly influence. Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Cabell, Sept. 9, 1817, in 17 Writings of Thomas Jefferson 417, 423-424 (Mem. 268 U.S. at 535. To do so he will have to break from the Amish tradition. 438, 88 L.Ed. . Respondents' experts testified at trial, without challenge, that the value of all education must be assessed in terms of its capacity to prepare the child for life. We think there are two issues here really. In the face of our consistent emphasis on the central values underlying the Religion Clauses in our constitutional scheme of government, we cannot accept a parens patriae claim of such all-encompassing scope and with such sweeping potential for broad and unforeseeable application as that urged by the State. We can accept it as settled, therefore, that, however strong the State's interest in universal compulsory education, it is by no means absolute to the exclusion or subordination of all other interests.
The child may decide that that is the preferred course, or he may rebel.
As often heretofore pointed out, rights guaranteed by the Constitution may not be abridged by legislation which has no reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the State. If he is harnessed to the Amish way of life by those in authority over him and if his education is truncated, his entire life may be stunted and deformed. [n20] The record is to the contrary, and any reliance on that theory would find no support in the evidence. Eight was apparently not the test nor does the quality of the school system apparently a factor. See Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. 599, 605 (1961). MR JUSTICE STEWART, with whom MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN joins, concurring. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. Respondents, members of the Old Order Amish religion and the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church, were convicted of violating Wisconsin's compulsory school attendance law (which requires a child's school attendance until age 16) by declining to send their children to public or private school after they had graduated from the eighth grade. There was absolutely no evidence of that and in fact this has been a rather intelligently and studiously tried case from the beginning. Now, the agricultural vocational schools which would probably interest the Amish more is handled through the land grant, the old federal aid program to agricultural education and that is handled in the high school. And, at this time in life, the Amish child must also grow in his faith and his relationship to the Amish community if he is to be prepared to accept the heavy obligations imposed by adult baptism. Section 118.15(1)(b) requires attendance to age 18 in a school district containing a "vocational, technical and adult education school," but this section is concededly inapplicable in this case, for there is no such school in the district involved. The evidence also showed that respondents sincerely believed that high school attendance was contrary to the Amish religion and way of life, and that they would endanger their own salvation and that of their children by complying with the law. . Supp.App.
WHITE, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which BRENNAN and STEWART, JJ., joined, post, p. 237. There is national consensus that we have cited in our brief at page 32 to this effect that there is no compelling state interest reflected in state compulsory attendance laws in having children attend school beyond the 15th birthday and this seems to be if this is the case in state after state after state that the state does not feel that a child needs to attend school beyond 15 then it seems to me that these children in question do not present in terms of their own rights to an education any danger to any compelling state interest. Unless they come back after the education? In itself, this is strong evidence that they are capable of fulfilling the social and political responsibilities of citizenship without compelled attendance beyond the eighth grade at the price of jeopardizing their free exercise of religious belief. ), “It was a maxim with Mr. Brass that the habit of paying compliments kept a mans tongue oiled without any expense; and that, as that useful member ought never to grow rusty or creak in turning on its hinges in the case of a practitioner of the law, in whom it should be always glib and easy, he lost few opportunities of improving himself by the utterance of handsome speeches and eulogistic expressions”—Charles Dickens (18121870), background of the, background of, background.
[n3] If he is harnessed to the Amish way of life [p246] by those in authority over him, and if his education is truncated, his entire life may be stunted and deformed. The child may decide that that is the preferred course, or he may rebel. The “Moral Majority” came to be a strong voice for protecting established religions and thrived during the Nixon Administration. Broadly speaking, the Old Order Amish religion pervades and determines the entire mode of life of its adherents. He has been raised in that atmosphere up until then to be suddenly placed in a high school where there is different dress, different speech, very, very different people with very, very different backgrounds. 625, 67 L.Ed. It is neither fair nor correct to suggest that the Amish are opposed to education beyond the eighth grade level. On the basis of such considerations, Dr. Hostetler testified that compulsory high school attendance could not only result in great psychological harm to Amish children, because of the conflicts it would produce, but would also, in his opinion, ultimately result in the destruction of the Old Order Amish church community as it exists in the United States today. Yes, but as I gather, am I wrong, we are not concerned here of whether the children have to go to school, Amish or not. Title 26 U.S.C.
Erickson, Showdown at an Amish Schoolhouse: A Description and Analysis of the Iowa Controversy, in Public Controls for Nonpublic Schools 15, 53 (D. Erickson ed.1969). 397 U.S. 664, 668, 90 S.Ct. H.R.Rep. The other children were not called by either side. ", The U.S. Supreme Court held as follows:.
Cf. We gave them reflief, saying that their First Amendment rights had been abridged.
The second element of separation is the separation from the ways of the world. §§ 31-202, 36-201 to 36-228 (1967); Ind.Ann.Stat. Thereafter the Wisconsin Supreme Court found in Yoder's favor.
In light of this showing, and weighing the minimal difference between what the State would require and what the Amish already accept, it was incumbent on the State to show with more particularity how its admittedly strong interest in compulsory education would be adversely affected by granting an exemption to the Amish. No, I think that what — Yes, I think what the Court is –- I think what we are doing is opening up a different approach to the same argument. There is nothing logical or constitutional about the cutoff. Mr. Justice POWELL and Mr. Justice REHNQUIST took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
See also id., at 60—64, 70, 83, 136—137. [p222].
The parents' fundamental right to freedom of religion was determined to outweigh the state's interest in educating their children.
Wisconsin v. Yoder interpreted the Free Exercise Clause by constructing a three-part test intended to balance state educational interests against the interests of religious freedom.
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