Mast v. Fillmore: A Perfect 50th Birthday Present for Yoder
Keywords:Amish schooling, free exercise of religion, Mast v. Fillmore, religious liberty, strict scrutiny, Wisconsin v. Yoder
The 1972 decision in Wisconsin v. Yoder is among the significant U.S. Supreme Court rulings adjudicating and establishing precedents around conflicts between religious beliefs and state interest. That Yoder has endured a half century is a testament not to its reasoning, but rather to a continuation of the sociological jurisprudential underpinnings that provided the defendants with the justice that others sought for them. This essay argues that the 2021 ruling in Mast v. Fillmore County, Minnesota, which vacated and remanded for further consideration a Minnesota state court ruling, could not have come at a better time for the fifty-year-old Yoder decision because Mast situates questions of Amish religious liberty squarely in the arena of strict scrutiny (in this case, of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000) rather than by invoking any sociological exceptionalism.
Copyright (c) 2023 Chris E. Wittstruck
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