The Witches’ Federal Law Memorandum
Statement of the Facts:
Witchcraft in the United States is a living, growing religion. As a religion, Witchcraft is protected by the Constitution. The Law has the obligation to serve and protect Witches in their religious endeavors, equally as much as it protects the rights and freedoms of other groups. In the United States today, Witches are entitled to the same rights and protections as other groups under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Is Witchcraft recognized as a legitimate religion in the United States?
Witchcraft is recognized in the United States as a legitimate religion. In 1985, Dettmer v Landon (617 F Supp 592) the District Court of Virginia pursuant to rule 52 (a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ruled that Witchcraft is a legitimate religion and falls within a recognizable
religious category In 1986 in the Federal Appeals court fourth circuit. Butzner, J. affirmed the decision (799 F 2d 929) Since in most cases Federal law, even case law supersedes state law in this type of matter, the affirmation by judge Butzner clearly sets Witchcraft as a religion under
the protection of constitutional rights. The Church of Wicca (or Witchcraft) is clearly a religion for First Amendment purposes.
Members of the Church sincerely adhere to a fairly complex set of doctrines relating to the spiritual aspect of their lives, and in doing so they have ultimate concerns’ in much the same way as followers of more accepted religions. Their ceremonies and leadership structure, their rather
elaborate set of articulated doctrine, their belief in the concept of another world, and their broad concern for improving the quality of life for others gives them at least some facial similarity to other more widely recognized religions.
While there are certainly aspects of Wiccan philosophy that may strike most people as strange or incomprehensible. the mere fact that a belief may be unusual does not strip it of constitutional protection. Accordingly the Court concludes that the Church of Wicca. of which the plaintiff is a
sincere follower. is a religion for the purpose of the free exercise clause.” Williams. J. 1985 Dettmer v. Landon Supra. We agree with the district court that the doctrine taught by the Church of Wicca is a religion.” Butzner. J. 19864th Circuit. Dettmer v. Landon Supra.
Does the practice of Witchcraft fall within the parameters of the First Amendment? protection clause?
The first amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religious belief. The USCA states that a practice is a religion if it is for an individual a belief system for their whole life. The constitution does not wish to dictate what an individual should hold as a belief system or how it is practiced and will not enter into a ruling on that. “Court may not inquire into worthiness of parties’ religious belief to ascertain whether they merit. First Amendment protection, but need only consider whether beliefs are ‘religious’ in parties’ own scheme of things and whether their beliefs are sincere. USCA Const. Amend. I “To be a bona
fide religious belief entitled to protection under either the First Amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held” and within the believers own scheme of things religious. USCA Const. Amend. 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000e-16″
Are Witches entitled to rights under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
The equal protection clause is guaranteed to all people and groups. If one group of people is entitled to equal protection than all groups are. Witchcraft is accepted as a religion, therefore, Witches are entitled to the same protections as al] other religious groups; under the equal
protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. First and Fourteenth Amendments insures without qualification that a state may not forbid the holding of any religious belief or opinion, nor may it force anyone to embrace any religious belief or to say or believe anything in conflict with his religious tenets. USCA Const. Amend. 1, (14 Africa v. Anderson 542 F. Supp. 224.”) (16 FPD 212-216)
Are Witches entitled to the same rights and protections under State Laws. applicable to where they live, as they are under Federal Law?
USCA ARTICLE VII # 2 states: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be The Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”In light of the fact that Dettmer v. Landon supra, being a Federally Adjudicated case. it is thereby protected by the Constitution. No state can override this Federal adjudication. No Witch can be denied his/her civil liberty and right to be a Witch, open and free, in any state in the land; within the parameters of the Law.
Witchcraft is a legally recognized religion in the United States and Witches are entitled to every right and protection for freedom of religion, including freedom from harassment and prejudice as every other recognized religion in the United States.
The United States Constitution, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. supports the right of all peoples in the United States to practice their own belief system and to enjoy this in each their own manner.
Lawyers and Law Enforcement Agencies have the obligation to protect the rights of all people in their religious endeavors, no matter what they maybe, without bias or prejudice.
Witches desire only to retain their right of religious privacy and to practice their Craft as they see fit within the parameters of the law.