• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court struck down loyalty oaths for public school teachers.

Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,Brennan, William J., Jr.;Keyishian v. Board of Regents[Keyishian v. Board of Regents] wrote the decision for the 5-4 majority that struck down a New York law requiring public school teachers to swear a loyalty oath certifying that they were not communists or members of allegedly subversive organizations. The Supreme Court ruled that the law deprived them of their free speech rights and meant a citizen had improperly to risk losing constitutional rights in order to accept public employment. A major part of the law’s failing was its unconstitutional vagueness that did not separate advocacy of an abstract doctrine from actual incitement to violence. Justices Tom C. Clark, John M. Harlan II, Potter Stewart, and Byron R. White dissented.Loyalty oaths;Keyishian v. Board of Regents[Keyishian v. Board of Regents]

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