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United States v. Schwimmer (docket #: 484) (1929)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 04/12/1929
Decided 5/27/1929
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Note Holmes' dissent in this case was the last "free speech" opinion he wrote. This case was argued by Olive H. Rabe, the first woman to argue a freedom of conscience case in the Supreme Court. Her client in the Court was also a woman, Rosika Schwimmer.
Supreme Court Ruling Free speech claim denied as a matter of statutory law.
IssueWhether the oath requirement of sect. 4 of the Naturalization Act of 1906 permits a pacifist to become a citizen.
Majority Opinion Butler, J.
Dissenting Opinion Holmes, J. (joined by Brandeis, J.) & Sanford, J.
Certiorari Granted 11/19/1928
Lower Court 7th Circuit
For Petitioner
Alfred A. Wheat

For Respondent
Olive H. Rabe

Opinion - Lower Court
Schwimmer v. United States, 27 F. 2d 742 (1928, 7th Cir.) (per Albert B. Anderson, J.)
"Citizen Papers for Pacifist Are Held Up," Chicago Daily Tribune, Aug. 2, 1928, p. 23
"Mme. Schwimmer Gets Aid of Two Pacifist Bands," Chicago Daily Tribune, Aug. 3, 1928, p. 5
"Mme. Schwimmer is Barred from Citizenship; Asserts She Would Not Kill Nation's Enemy," New York Times, Oct. 14, 1927, p. 1
Wynner, Edith, "Lippmann and the Schwimmer Case," NY Rev. Books, March 19, 1981

"Rosika Schwimmer"

Britannica Online, "Rosika Schwimmer"

Chafee, Jr., Zechariah, FREE SPEECH IN THE UNITED STATES (Harvard University Press, 1948), pp. 357, 362, 367 n., 369-372,
Emerson, Thomas I., THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (Random House, 1970), p. 25
Lewis, Anthony, FREEDOM FOR THE THOUGHT WE HATE (Basic Books, 2007), pp. 37-38
Swarthmore Library, "Rosika Schwimmer: Papers, 1914-1948"

Trial Judge: George A. Carpenter, U.S. Dist. Ct. for the N. Dist. of Ill.
U.S. Dept. of Labor, Naturalization Service form, question 20: ". . . I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same."
U.S. Dept. of Labor, Naturalization Service form, question 22: "If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country?"
Overruled By Girouard v. United States
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