The purpose of this Note is to analyze the decision by the United State Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of Education in light of recent United States Supreme Court opinions regarding the free exercise of religion. Section I will explain the legal issues that are relevant in deciding this and similar free exercise cases. Section II will discuss the history and background of the Mozert case. Section III will discuss the different opinions in Mozert. Section IV will analyze and critique the different rationales used to decide this case. After weighing the alternatives, this Note will conclude that an accommodation should be made for plaintiffs such as those in Mozert that would allow students to opt-out of the reading program that they claim undermines their religious beliefs.
Keith Kemper, Freedom of Religion vs. Public School Reading Curriculum, 12 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 405 (1983).