The question which underlies the flag salute controversy is whether such a ceremony so touching matters of opinion and political attitude may be imposed upon the individual by official authority under powers committed to any political organization under our Constitution. Children who go to public school enjoy in many states derivative advantages such as free textbooks, free lunch, and free transportation in going to and from school. And the question here is whether the state may make certain requirements that seem to it desirable or important for the proper education of those future citizens who go to schools maintained by the states, or whether the pupils in those schools may be relieved from those requirements if they run counter to the consciences of their parents. We are told that a flag salute is a doubtful substitute for adequate understanding of our institutions. The State announces rank, function, and authority through crowns and maces, uniforms and black robes; the church speaks through the Cross, the Crucifix, the altar and shrine, and clerical raiment. He then dragged her down into the woods, striking her along the way. No well-ordered society can leave to the individuals an absolute right to make final decisions, unassailable by the State, as to everything they will or will not do.
While religion supplies appellees' motive for enduring the discomforts of making the issue in this case, many citizens who do not share these religious views hold such a compulsory rite to infringe constitutional liberty of the individual. At the end of the oral argument, the nine justices should meet secretly and return to deliver their opinion. Prepare a speech on how you plan to vote and why. There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority. The constitutions generally give them no authority to call upon a court for advice; they must decide for themselves, and the courts may never be able to say a word. But West Virginia does not compel the attendance at its public schools of the children here concerned.
As was the case with Black's trial, the trial of the appellants centered on the testimony of Brian Dement. The State of West Virginia requires all pupils to share in the salute to the flag as part of school training in citizenship. Petitioning party did not receive a favorable disposition. The district court agreed and enjoined enforcement of the statute. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.
Authority here is to be controlled by public opinion, not public opinion by authority. And among the Justices who sustained this measure were outstanding judicial leaders in the zealous enforcement of constitutional safeguards of civil liberties -- men like Chief Justice Hughes, Mr. I am fortified in my view of this case by the history of the flag salute controversy in this Court. A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man's comfort and inspiration is another's jest and scorn. Much of the vagueness of the due process clause disappears when the specific prohibitions of the First become its standard.
But here the power of compulsion is invoked without any allegation that remaining passive during a flag salute ritual creates a clear and present danger that would justify an effort even to muffle expression. Let them resolutely adhere to first principles. Law is concerned with external behavior and not with the inner life of man. First, it said the courts have no controlling interest in laws that are passed democratically by democratically elected officials. If the avowed or intrinsic legislative purpose is either to promote or to discourage some religious community or creed, it is clearly within the constitutional restrictions imposed on legislatures, and cannot stand. Dement agreed and went to a dark-colored, four-door car. It seems to have been concerned with promotion of national unity see footnote 2 , which justification is considered later in this opinion.
In the State of Pennsylvania there are 120 of these, and in West Virginia as many as 65. The devoutness of their belief is evidenced by their willingness to suffer persecution and punishment, rather than make the pledge. Much that is the concern of temporal authority affects the spiritual interests of men. This indictment was filed on May 11, 2007. He may practice what he will in his own house of worship or publicly within the limits of public order. We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent.
To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. The issue here is whether this slow and easily neglected route to aroused loyalties constitutionally may be short-cut by substituting a compulsory salute and slogan. The framers of the federal Constitution might have chosen to assign an active share in the process of legislation to this Court. Objection to this form of communication, when coerced, is an old one, well known to the framers of the Bill of Rights. Here, it is the State that employs a flag as a symbol of adherence to government as presently organized. Background of the case: In the two years after the Supreme Court's decision in Gobitis, Jehovah's Witnesses became regular targets of harassment and brutal treatment. It is this majestic representative of the people whose action is in question, a coordinate department of the government, charged with the greatest functions, and invested, in contemplation of law, with whatsoever wisdom, virtue, and knowledge the exercise of such functions requires.
This Court denied the right of a state to require its children to attend public schools. It is in that freedom and the example of persuasion, not in force and compulsion, that the real unity of America lies. I've added in a brief section with a more accurate interpretation. In weighing arguments of the parties, it is important to distinguish between the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as an instrument for transmitting the principles of the First Amendment and those cases in which it is applied for its own sake. In the earlier 1940 case of , children Lillian and William Gobitas the Court spelled their name incorrectly were expelled from a Pennsylvania public school for not participating in the Pledge. The individual conscience may profess what faith it chooses.