The Stone Court (1941–46)

First Amendment

Why did the U.S. Supreme Court overrule itself?

The Gobitis decision unfortunately caused a wave of violence against Jehovah’s Witnesses in various parts of the country. In the book To the Flag: The History of the Pledge of Allegiance, author Richard J. Ellis writes: “The persistent pattern of expulsions, arbitrary arrests, and violent intimidation led to a rethinking among the Supreme Court Justices of the wisdom of the Gobitis decision.” Ellis also relates that thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses had been expelled from school.


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