Friday, December 27, 2013

Shelton v. Tucker case brief

Shelton v. Tucker case brief summary
364 U.S. 479 (1960)

Petitioner teachers sought review of judgments of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas and the Supreme Court of Arkansas in two cases, which held a state statute that required petitioners to divulge organizational involvement, as a condition of employment, did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment and was constitutional.

Petitioners challenged an Arkansas statute which compelled them, as a condition of employment in state educational facilities, to file annually an affidavit listing without limitation every organization to which they belonged or regularly contributed within the preceding five years. Petitioners asserted that the statute violated their constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. After the federal district court and the state's highest court upheld the statute's validity, petitioners sought a writ of certiorari.

  • The Court granted the writ and found the statute to be an unconstitutional infringement on petitioners' rightto association, which went far beyond the state's legitimate right to inquire into the fitness and competency of its educators. 
  • The judgments of the lower courts were reversed.

The Court reversed the judgments of the federal district court and the state's highest court.

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