top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Amish Buggy Light Law: Unveiling the Verdict that Could Shape a Community and Legislation

Judge John L. Good

In what will be a landmark case has developed, within Ashland County, as Amish residents Emery Troyer, Dan Troyer, Andrew Slabaugh, and Jacob Gingerich have taken the initiative to challenge the constitutionality of the Amish Buggy light law. These individuals have filed court documents urging Honorable Judge John L. Good of the Ashland Municipal Court to dismiss the guilty ruling against them, relying on the fundamental right of freedom of religion.


The outcome of this case, which is anticipated to be announced next week, could have significant implications for both the Amish community and law makers. The importance of this verdict in determining the intersection between religious practices and the law cannot be understated, as Emery Troyer, Dan Troyer, Andrew Slabaugh, and Jacob Gingerich advocate for the preservation of their religious beliefs. In order to understand the potential outcome of this case, it is important to examine similar legal battles that have taken place in other states.


One such case occurred in Kentucky in 2012 when the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the convictions of nine members of a conservative Amish sect. These individuals had refused to display a fluorescent-orange triangle on their horse-drawn buggies, citing religious objections. While five members of the Court voted to uphold the convictions, only four agreed that the Kentucky Constitution is coextensive with the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause. Justices Scott and Abramson dissented, arguing that the Kentucky Constitution provides even greater protections for religious liberty than the First Amendment.


On the other hand, the 1990 case of State v. Hershberger in Minnesota offers a different perspective. In this case, Amish residents were cited for failing to display slow-moving vehicle symbols on their buggies. The Minnesota Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the charges, finding that the state had failed to demonstrate that there was not a less-restrictive alternative to displaying the symbols. The court recognized that individual liberties under the state constitution may deserve greater protection than those under the federal constitution.


With these cases in mind, it is clear that the constitutionality of the Amish Buggy light law is a complex issue. While some courts have upheld convictions based on the belief that religious liberty is not absolute and must be balanced against public safety concerns, others have found that alternative measures can adequately address these concerns without infringing on religious freedom.


As Honorable Judge John L. Good prepares to make his ruling, it is important to consider the potential impact of his decision. If he upholds the law, it could set a precedent for future cases involving the rights of the Amish community and other religious groups. Conversely, if he finds the law unconstitutional, it could send law makers back to the drawing board to craft a new legislation that better balances the rights of the Amish with public safety concerns.


In conclusion, the case of Honorable Judge John L. Good and the constitutionality of the Amish Buggy light law is a significant legal battle that could have far-reaching implications. As Judge Good weighs the rights of the Amish community against public safety concerns, his ruling will shape the future of this law and may impact similar legislation in other states. Only time will tell how this case will unfold and what it will mean for religious freedom and public safety in the Amish community and beyond.

bottom of page