The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Miller v. United States, in which CIR client Kathryn Miller and other Amish appealed their convictions under the federal hate crimes law for forcibly shaving the beards and cutting the hair of other Amish. The court reversed the defendants’ convictions and ordered a new trial.The court also held that, because it ordered a new trial, it could leave the Commerce Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act challenges to the convictions undecided.
A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Miller v. United States. An Amish woman named Kathryn Miller, represented by CIR, and other Amish defendants were appealing their convictions under the federal hate crimes act for cutting the beards and hair of other Amish as part of an intra-faith religious dispute.
CIR filed a brief in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of our client Kathryn Miller, an Amish woman convicted under a federal hate crimes law for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of other Amish in an effort to shame them as part of a religious dispute.
Samuel Mullet and other Amish men and women the United States Justice Department accused of hate crimes rejected a plea offer that included jail sentences many times shorter than the decades-long sentences they could face if found guilty.
A federal district court judge in Ohio, in the case of U.S. v. Mullet, denied a motion by Samuel Mullet, Sr. and other Amish to dismiss the Obama Administration’s charges against them under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
The Obama Justice Department exceeded the bounds of the commerce clause in its prosecution of several Amish for a purported federal “hate crime”: forcibly shaving the beards and cutting the hair of other Amish as a means of enforcing religious discipline. CIR filed an amicus brief pointing out DOJ’s overreaching.