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Minersville School District v. Gobitis (docket #: 690) (1940)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Minersville School District v. Gobitis  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 04/25/1940
Decided 06/03/1940
Supreme Court Vote 8-1
Supreme Court Ruling Free Exercise Claim denied.
IssueWhether the requirement in the participation of in the pledge of allegiance, which includes the word “God,” exacted from a child who refuses upon since religious grounds, infringes upon due process of law the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Majority Opinion Frankfurter, J. (joined by McReynolds, J.)
Dissenting Opinion Stone, J.
Lower Court 3rd Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Free Exercise Claim upheld.
For Petitioner
Joseph W. Henderson

For Respondent
Messrs. George K. Gardner, Joseph F. Rutherford

Opinion - Lower Court
Minersville School Dist et. al. v. Gobitis et. al., 108 F.2d 683 (C.A.3, 1939)
"Court Backs Pupils Refusing Flag Salute: Federal Judge Cites Washington’s Views," New York Times, Nov. 11, 1939, pg. 17
"Flag Salute Edictis Ruled Illegal: Philadelphia Federal Judge Orders School to Reinstate 2 Pupils Who Refused on Grounds of Religion. Court Holds Requirement to Perform Act Against Faith Is Unconstitutional," New York Times, Jun. 19, 1938, pg. 30
"Flag Salute Order Upheld; School Board Backed in Expelling Children Who Refused to Obey Flag Salute Rule. Upheld Supreme Court Says Schools Have Right to Fix Regulations,"Los Angeles Times, Jun. 4, 1940, pg. 1
"Flag Salute Rule Declared Invalid; Federal Judge Says School Authorities Cannot Expel Children for Refusing," New York Times, Dec. 2, 1937, pg. 1
"Oath at Issue; Court to Decide on Salute to Flag," The Washington Post, Mar. 5, 1940, pg. 24
"Plan Salute Ruling Right; Minersville School Board Aims to Appeal Maris’s Decisions," New York Times, Dec. 3, 1937, pg. 1
"Required Flag Salute Likened to Nazism; Brief in Supreme Court Assails Appeal by School Board," New York Times, Apr. 13, 1940, pg. 6
Blue, Jon C., "One Nation, Divisible, With Liberty for None," New York Times, Sep. 2, 1988, sect. A, pg. 27
Dershowitz, Alan M., "The Source of Justice in the Mind of a Justice; Frankfurter Author’s Query," New York Times, Feb. 22, 1981, sect. BR, pg. 4
Hechinger, Fred M., "Yes for Standing Silent; Flag Oath," New York Times, Nov. 19, 1972, sect. E, pg. 7
Hechinger, Fred, "Right to Remain Silent Upheld; Flag Pledge Under Debate," Chicago Tribune, Nov. 23, 1972
Margolick, David, "Pledge Dispute Evokes Bitter Memories of 30’s," New York Times, Sep. 11, 1988, pg. 1
Waltz, Jon R., "Advise and Dissent: Prophets with Honor: Great Dissents and Great Dissenters in the Supreme Court," The Washington Post, Aug. 4, 1974, pg. 173
Wiecek, William M., THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN CONSTITUTION: THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, 1941-1953 (Holmes Devise, vol. XII, 2006), pp. 220-228
Overruled By West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette
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