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Magistrate: Steel wheel rules violates Mennonites’ rights

June 21, 2016

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — A magistrate has ruled a revised ordinance limiting the use of steel wheels on Mitchell County’s paved roads still violates the religious freedom of Mennonites.

The Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/28L1OIF ) Mitchell County Magistrate Nicholas Larson ruled last week in the case of Derek Zimmerman, a 14-year-old from Orchard who in August 2015 received a citation for violating the steel wheel ordinance.

The teen is part of the Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church, whose beliefs ban the use of rubber wheels.

In 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled an ordinance banning steel wheels on paved roads violated the Mennonite’s religious freedom.

Larson ruled Zimmerman violated a state ordinance because he didn’t apply for a special permit, allowed under state law. He dismissed the county violation, saying the ordinance didn’t survive “strict scrutiny.”

Mitchell County Attorney Mark Walk later filed an appeal of Larson’s ruling.


Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/

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