100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Jonas Yoder

Jonas Yoder

The Preservation of Amish Culture

“To Perform Acts … at Odds with … their Religious Beliefs”

Wisconsin v. Yoder

406 U.S. 205 (1972)

When he lived in Plain City, Ohio, Jonas Yoder earned his living by raising ducks. Local authorities became convinced that waste from the ducks was polluting a neighboring creek. Yoder, a member of the Old Order Amish faith, was scrupulous about tending to his birds, and an investigation cleared him of wrongdoing; it turned out that the real culprit was probably a nearby chemical plant. In time, Yoder came to believe that the industrial facility had done more than just pollute the waterway. One of his daughters died of bone cancer at age five, and Yoder suspected that her illness stemmed from the pollution ...

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