Lee, United States v. 455 U.S. 252 (1982)

Author:Kenneth L. Karst

Page 1575

Members of the Amish religion object, on religious grounds, to paying taxes or receiving benefits under the SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. An Amish employer of Amish workers claimed a constitutional right to refuse to pay Social Security taxes. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected that claim. Chief Justice WARREN E. BURGER, for the Court, accepted STRICT SCRUTINY as the appropriate STANDARD OF REVIEW in cases involving RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, but concluded that the government had established that mandatory participation was necessary to achieving the "overriding governmental interest" in maintaining the Social Security system. In a concurring opinion, Justice JOHN PAUL STEVENS argued against the strict scrutiny standard, saying that claimants of special religious exemptions from laws of general applicability must demonstrate...

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