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Epperson v. Arkansas

United States Supreme Court
393 U.S. 97 (1968)


Facts

Epperson (plaintiff) earned a graduate degree in zoology and was hired to teach high school biology in Little Rock, Arkansas. A 1928 law enacted by the Arkansas legislature prohibited teaching the theory of evolution in public schools. The law made the teaching of evolution a criminal offense and grounds for termination of employment. Epperson received a new textbook that included a section about the theory of evolution. Epperson filed suit in state court seeking an injunction against enforcement of the anti-evolution law and a judgment declaring the statute void. The lower court ruled in favor of Epperson, but the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the ruling. Epperson petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review of the state supreme court decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Fortas, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Black, J.)

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