Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Court Rejects Farmer's Religious Objections To Appealing Administrative Order

The Baraboo, Wisconsin News Republic and Wisconsin Ag report that a Wisconsin state trial court judge in a ruling from the bench on Monday rejected a religious freedom defense to an aspect of the four misdemeanor charges against Amish dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger.  The Loganville (WI) farmer is charged with ignoring a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection order to discontinue sales of unpasteurized milk at his farm. The state argues, in part, that Hershberger never appealed the state's hold order.  Hershberger says that his religious beliefs precluded his filing an appeal which, he says, would have been an act of aggression.  Hershberger in the past filed an appeal of his bond conditions in a criminal case; but he says that his religious objections only apply to appeals in civil cases. The court held that Hershberger had not provided sufficient evidence to support his "nuanced" religious objections.