Document Type


Publication Date



In 1943, the Supreme Court handed down West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. With Justice Robert H. Jackson writing for the six-Justice majority, the Court upheld the First Amendment right of Jehovah's Witnesses schoolchildren to refuse to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance, state-imposed obligations that the children and their parents contended were acts of idolatry that violated biblical commands. Judge Richard A. Posner has said that Justice Jackson's effort "may be the most eloquent majority opinion in the history of the Supreme Court."



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.