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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1029995
 
 

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Recollections of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette


John Q. Barrett


St. John's University School of Law; Robert H. Jackson Center

Gregory L. Peterson


affiliation not provided to SSRN

E. Barrett Prettyman Jr.


Hogan Lovells

Shawn Francis Peters


University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Education

Gathie Barnett Edmonds


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marie Barnett Snodgrass


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bennett Boskey


affiliation not provided to SSRN


St. John's Law Review, Vol. 81, pp. 755-796, Fall 2007
St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-0089

Abstract:     
During World War II, Gathie and Marie Barnett, along with their parents and other Jehovah's Witnesses, challenged the constitutionality of compelling school children to pledge allegiance and salute the American flag. Their Supreme Court victory, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) (misspelling their surname), and Justice Robert H. Jackson's eloquent opinion for the Court in the case, is a constitutional law landmark.

In 2006, the Robert H. Jackson Center and the Supreme Court Historical Society cosponsored a Barnette event involving its protagonists. These proceedings, as edited and published here, begin with welcoming remarks by Mr. Peterson and Mr. Prettyman. Dr. Peters, author of a leading history of the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses and their litigation seeking judicial protection for constitutional rights, discusses the social and legal events leading to Barnette. In a roundtable discussion, the "Barnette" sisters and Mr. Boskey, who was Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone's chief law clerk from 1941-43, discuss personal, legal and historical aspects of "their" case. Professor Barrett, in closing remarks, discusses Justice Jackson and aspects of his background, including his upbringing in a region of free thought and belief and his experiences with religious difference, that seem relevant to the principles he articulated so well in Barnette.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette; Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, Justice Robert H. Jackson; Justice Felix Frankfurter; Jehovah's Witnesses; flag salute; Minersville School District v. Gobitis.

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Date posted: November 14, 2007 ; Last revised: November 18, 2007

Suggested Citation

Barrett, John Q. and Peterson, Gregory L. and Prettyman, E. Barrett and Peters, Shawn Francis and Edmonds, Gathie Barnett and Snodgrass, Marie Barnett and Boskey, Bennett, Recollections of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. St. John's Law Review, Vol. 81, pp. 755-796, Fall 2007; St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-0089. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1029995

Contact Information

John Q. Barrett (Contact Author)
St. John's University School of Law ( email )
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
United States
718-990-6644 (Phone)
718-990-2199 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/graduate/law/faculty/Profiles/Barrett
Robert H. Jackson Center
305 East Fourth Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
United States
716-483-6646 (Phone)
716-483-0690 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.roberthjackson.org
Gregory L. Peterson
affiliation not provided to SSRN
No Address Available
E. Barrett Prettyman Jr.
Hogan Lovells ( email )
555 Thirteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
United States
Shawn Francis Peters
University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Education
Madison, WI 53706
United States
Gathie Barnett Edmonds
affiliation not provided to SSRN
No Address Available
Marie Barnett Snodgrass
affiliation not provided to SSRN
No Address Available
Bennett Boskey
affiliation not provided to SSRN
No Address Available
Feedback to SSRN


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