Written arguments next in Amish dispute - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Written arguments next in Amish dispute


NEILLSVILLE (AP) -- A Clark County judge has ruled prosecutors presented enough evidence showing an Amish farmer failed to comply with a 2005 law that requires farmers with livestock to register with the state.

But Judge John Counsell ordered both sides Wednesday to submit written arguments on whether the law can be applied to the Amish without violating their constitutional right to freedom of religion.

District Attorney Darwin Zwieg says at issue is 28-year-old Emanual Miller Jr.'s religious rights versus the state's interest in protecting the public from an animal disease outbreak.

Miller is the first to be charged with a civil forfeiture for failure to comply with the farm premises registration law, which is designed to help track outbreaks of animal diseases.

Zwieg says he doesn't expect a ruling in the case for at least two months.

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