WISCONSIN v. YODER

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
70-110
Petitioner 
Wisconsin
Respondent 
Yoder
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Jonas Yoder and Wallace Miller, both members of the Old Order Amish religion, and Adin Yutzy, a member of the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church, were prosecuted under a Wisconsin law that required all children to attend public schools until age 16. The three parents refused to send their children to such schools after the eighth grade, arguing that high school attendance was contrary to their religious beliefs.

Question 

Did Wisconsin's requirement that all parents send their children to school at least until age 16 violate the First Amendment by criminalizing the conduct of parents who refused to send their children to school for religious reasons?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for Yoder, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Free Exercise of Religion

In a unamimous decision, the Court held that individual's interests in the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment outweighed the State's interests in compelling school attendance beyond the eighth grade. In the majority opinion by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, the Court found that the values and programs of secondary school were "in sharp conflict with the fundamental mode of life mandated by the Amish religion," and that an additional one or two years of high school would not produce the benefits of public education cited by Wisconsin to justify the law.Justice William O. Douglas filed a partial dissent but joined with the majority regarding Yoder.

Cite this Page
WISCONSIN v. YODER. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 31 August 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_110>.
WISCONSIN v. YODER, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_110 (last visited August 31, 2014).
"WISCONSIN v. YODER," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 31, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_110.