Romeike v. Holder


Case Information

Date Filed:
January 1, 2012

In January 2010, the Romeikes were presented with a choice no parents should have to make: abandon their religious beliefs, or lose custody of their children.

The Romeike family is from the German state of Baden-Württemberg, and chose to educate their children at home in order to follow their Evangelical Christian beliefs. However, state authorities refused to accept this and sent police to march the Romeike children to the local public school, invoking the Schulpflichtgesetz, or School Duty Law. The family fled from their homeland to Tennessee, and sought asylum in the United States.

In July 2010, Becket submitted an amicus brief to the United States Board of Immigration Appeals. It described the disturbing Nazi-era background of the School Duty Law, and explained that the original purpose of the law was to suppress “the development of religiously and philosophically motivated parallel societies.” The Romeikes were not evading their duty to educate their children, only the state’s attempt to indoctrinate their children against their religious beliefs.

An immigration judge granted the Romeikes’ request for asylum, but the federal government appealed that decision, and in May 2013 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately ruled against the Romeikes.

Watch Becket’s Daniel Blomberg discuss the religious liberty implications of this case at FRC University (starts at 22:00 min).



Watch Becket’s Luke Goodrich debate Does Germany’s Ban on Homeschooling Count as Religious Persecution? at the University of St. Thomas.