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Mon Jun 14, 2021, 06:49 AM

On this day, June 14, 1943, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette was decided.

Sun Jun 14, 2020: On this day, June 14, 1943, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette was decided.

Sat Jun 15, 2019: Happy 76th anniversary, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

Thu Jun 14, 2018: Happy 75th anniversary, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.


West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

Argued March 11, 1943
Decided June 14, 1943


West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), is a decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects students from being forced to salute the American flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance in public school. The Court's 6–3 decision, delivered by Justice Robert H. Jackson, is remembered for its forceful defense of free speech and constitutional rights generally as being placed "beyond the reach of majorities and officials."

Barnette overruled a 1940 decision on the same issue, Minersville School District v. Gobitis, in which the Court stated that the proper recourse for dissent was to try to change the public school policy democratically. It was a significant court victory won by Jehovah's Witnesses, whose religion forbade them from saluting or pledging to symbols, including symbols of political institutions. However, the Court did not address the effect the compelled salutation and recital ruling had upon their particular religious beliefs but instead ruled that the state did not have the power to compel speech in that manner for anyone. In overruling Gobitis the Court primarily relied on the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment rather than the Free Exercise Clause.

{snip}

Decision of the Court

The Court held, in a 6-to-3 decision delivered by Justice Jackson, that it was unconstitutional for public schools to compel students to salute the flag. It thus overruled its decision in Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940), finding that the flag salute was "a form of utterance" and "a primitive but effective means of communicating ideas." The Court wrote that any "compulsory unification of opinion" was doomed to failure and was antithetical to the values set forth in the First Amendment. The Court stated:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

The Supreme Court announced its decision on June 14, Flag Day.

{snip}

Robert H. Jackson



Robert Houghwout Jackson (February 13, 1892 – October 9, 1954) was an American attorney and judge who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He had previously served as United States Solicitor General, and United States Attorney General, and is the only person to have held all three of those offices. Jackson was also notable for his work as the Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II.

Jackson was admitted to the bar through a combination of reading law with an established attorney, and attending law school. He is the most recent justice without a law degree to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Jackson is well known for his advice that, "Any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect, in no uncertain terms, to make no statement to the police under any circumstances", and for his aphorism describing the Supreme Court, "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final." Jackson developed a reputation as one of the best writers on the Supreme Court, and one of the most committed to enforcing due process as protection from overreaching federal agencies.

{snip}

More:

Sun Feb 4, 2018: Gym teacher accused of assaulting student who wouldnt stand for Pledge of Allegiance

Mon Sep 8, 2014: Remembering the Brave Young Woman Who Refused to Say the Pledge of Allegiance Nearly 80 Years Ago



William (left) and Lillian (right) with father Walter Gobitas (via Jehovah’s Witnesses)

September 8, 2014
by Hemant Mehta

Usually, when I mention Jehovah’s Witnesses on this site, it’s not for a good reason. But we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

In 1935, fifth-grader William Gobitas refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because treating the flag like an idol went against his family’s JW faith. His 12-year-old sister Lillian did the same thing the next day.

They were both expelled from the Minersville School District in Pennsylvania quickly after that. Their parents were forced to pay for a private school, and that was the beginning of a lawsuit that went all the way up to the Supreme Court.

In 1940, in Minersville School District v. Gobitis, the Court ruled 8-1… in favor of the school district. Seriously. They said it wasn’t a violation of religious freedom to compel students to say the Pledge. It was such an awful decision, the Court (with a different makeup) reversed itself three years later in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/09/08/remembering-the-brave-young-woman-who-refused-to-say-the-pledge-of-allegiance-nearly-80-years-ago/



http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=310&invol=586

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=319&page=624

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Reply On this day, June 14, 1943, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette was decided. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2021 OP
no_hypocrisy Jun 2021 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2021 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 14, 2021, 07:01 AM

1. I'm sure Trump would have gone after this case if he hadn't been removed.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 14, 2021, 07:03 AM

2. Barnette's not going anywhere. NT

Last edited Mon Jun 14, 2021, 10:36 AM - Edit history (1)

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