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
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
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 A
mendments 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 may
be, 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.
Copyright remains with the original author of the work.