Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. Society of Sisters. Moreover, the Pope praised both the Taft Court for its reliance on natural law, and the whole American Republic for having ordained the natural rights of the family, and the natural law in general, in the Constitution. This article will explore the significance and validity of this praise.
This article concludes that this tribute, while extraordinary, was simply unwarranted. Rather, the Taft Court evinced an increasing indifference, if not hostility, to natural law concepts — an indifference clear in Pierce itself, Buck v. Bell, and other cases. In the course of the article, several claims are made and defended that may seem unconventional: namely, 1 that the Taft Court tacitly but firmly rejected the Court's prior natural-law jurisprudence, 2 that the Court's decision in Pierce and Buck v.
Bell indicated this rejection, and 3 that Pierce significantly shaped the Court's subsequent due-process jurisprudence, including the contraction of due process in Buck v. Bell, and the expansion of due process through incorporation of certain rights of sexual and reproductive autonomy.
Blytheville Sch. Summary of this case from Bell v. Itawamba Cnty.
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A state law forbidding, under penalty, the teaching in any private, denominational, parochial or public school, of any modern language, other than English, to any child who has not attained and successfully passed the eighth grade, invades the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment and exceeds the power of the State.
So held where the statute was applied in punishment of an instructor who taught reading in German, to a child of ten years, in a parochial school. Charles E. Sandall , with whom Mr.
Albert, Mr. Arthur G. Wray and Mr. August Wagner were on the briefs, for plaintiff in error.
The right to choose and pursue a given legitimate vocation is within the rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The vocation of the plaintiff is teaching — a legitimate vocation — and in teaching, as he did, a certain subject in a language other than English, he encroached upon the rights of no other person.
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Ritchie v. People , Ill. Crescent City Co. California , U. Louisiana , U. Baltimore Ohio R. United States , U. Illinois , 94 U. Beckham , U. Pennsylvania , U. Berea College v.
Kentucky , U. Imparting knowledge in a foreign language is not inherently immoral or inimical to the public welfare, and not a legitimate subject for prohibitory legislation. In fact, an examination of the statute will show that the legislature did not regard the teaching of a pupil in some language other than English as vicious or inimical to the public welfare. It applies only to schools, leaving teachers and others at liberty to teach privately. State v.
Redmon , Wis. Weiner , Ill. When the legislature by clear implication finds that the practice or pursuit against which the act is leveled does not of itself injuriously affect the public, a measure designed to prohibit it is unconstitutional. It being clear, therefore, both upon reason and legislative finding, that the prohibited acts are not harmful, this measure, insofar as it imposes upon teachers, both lay and clerical, penalties of fine and imprisonment for the giving of instruction in languages, is violative of their constitutional right to engage in the practice of their chosen profession or calling.
Coal Co. People , 17 Ill. Tanner , U. The statute, as construed by the Supreme Court of Nebraska, is prohibitive, not regulatory of a legitimate vocation. The statute in question is not a legitimate exercise of the police power. The exercise of the police power can be justified only when it adds, in a substantial way, to the security of the fundamental rights. The relation to the common good of a law fixing a minimum of education is readily perceived, but how one fixing a maximum — limiting the field of human knowledge — can serve the public welfare or add substantially to the security of life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness is inconceivable.
Redmon, supra; Mugler v. Kansas , U. Cambridge Board of Health , Mass. Sperry , 94 Neb.
One claim put forward is, that the statute forwards the work of Americanization. But in our desire for the Americanization of our foreign born population we should not overlook the fact that the spirit of America is liberty and toleration — the disposition to allow each person to live his own life in his own way, unhampered by unreasonable and arbitrary restrictions. The law, as construed by the Supreme Court of Nebraska, operates to deny the plaintiff in error the equal protection of the law. The law is directed against the teaching in or of a foreign language in public, private, denominational and parochial schools.
It leaves those engaged in giving private lessons in such languages free to pursue their vocations. Nebraska District Evangelical Synod v.
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McKelvie , Neb. Huber , Iowa ; State v. Sloane , 49 N. Ramsey , 48 Minn. Lincoln Gas Co.
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Lapeer Circuit Judge , Mich. Board of Examiners , 85 N. Mason Wheeler and Mr.