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Capital University Law Review


Yoder case, children's rights, female genital mutilation, Cochlear implants


Every time I teach a class on church and state, I am reminded again of how much we owe to the religious minorities in our midst. If it were not for Amish, Quakers, Jews, Santerians and especially Jehovah's Witnesses, what an impoverished understanding we would have, not only of the religion clauses of the First Amendment, but also of the Free Speech Clause. The original parents in Wisconsin v. Yoder are now grandparents, and their children, with or without the benefit of a high school education, have grown to adulthood and probably have children of their own. But 25 years later, we are still chewing over and learning from this case. My focus in this essay is on the myriad ways we can learn from this case and how we can use it to enrich our thinking about topics that, at first glance, seem far removed from church and state, education, or the Amish.