Wisconsin v. Yoder

From wikilawschool.net. Wiki Law School does not provide legal advice. For educational purposes only.
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided May 15, 1972
Appealed from Wisconsin Supreme Court


In the 1970s, the state of Wisconsin had a compulsory education law for all children under the age of 16.

Procedural History

3 Amish parents are convicted in a Wisconsin trial court for refusing to send their children to school.

Yoder (Amish parent) wins the appeal at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


Since a significant % of Amish children leave the community after reaching the age of 18, is the ability of these young adults to thrive in the outside world hampered?


The Amish parents contend that their religious beliefs precluded from enrolling their children under the age of 16 in school?


The Free Exercise Clause of the 1st Amendment allows Amish parents to opt their children out of school after the 8th grade.

However, elementary education is necessary to prepare citizens for effective participation in society. Thus, Wisconsin has a compelling state interest to make elementary education--but not secondary education--mandatory.


The Yoder holding was codified into the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.