U7A1 Supreme Court Cases

1406 Words Jan 27th, 2018 6 Pages
Des Moines Independent School District (1969)
Background: 1965 three students from Des Moines, Iowa (15 year old John Tinker; his sister, 13 year Mary Beth Tinker; and a friend, 16 year old Christopher Eckhardt), opposing the Vietnam War came up with a plan to wear black arm bands to their respective schools. The arm bands were to serve the purposes of symbolizing a protest against the Vietnam War. School officials got wind of the children’s protest plans and created a policy that if student showed up at school wearing black bands would be suspended and unable to return to school until they agreed to follow the “no black arm band” policy. All three children still chose to wear the black arm bands to school and all three were suspended from school.

Issue(s): First Amendment (Freedom of Speech), Fourteenth Amendment (Due Process)

Court Decision(s): The Court ruled in favor of the students. In accordance with the First Amendment, their actions were constitutional. It was not disruptive, nor did it invade other’s rights. However, this did not give unlimited freedom of speech to the students. As long as they continued the “peaceful” protesting without causing distractions, they could continue.

Chief Justice: WARREN

Legal Impact of the Decision: The new “no black arm bands” policy at the schools did not prohibit all political symbols, but rather just singled out the black arm bands used to support no involvement in…

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