From our private database of 28,500+ case briefs...
Girouard v. United States
United States Supreme Court
328 U.S. 61, 66 S. Ct. 826, 90 L. Ed. 1084 (1946)
In the years following World War I, the United States Supreme Court decided a series of cases interpreting the federal naturalization statute. The cases established a general rule that a noncitizen seeking naturalization who refuses to bear arms in defense of the United States would not be granted citizenship. After these cases were decided, several pieces of federal legislation were proposed in an effort to repudiate the judicially established rule and instead enact a statute clarifying that, although an individual seeking naturalization was required to promise to support and defend the United States, he was not required to promise to bear arms. For several years, Congress failed to act on the proposed legislation. Congress then enacted the Nationality Act of 1940, which revised the naturalization laws but was silent as to whether the oath of loyalty required a promise to bear arms. In 1942, the Nationality Act was amended by the Second War Powers Act (WPA) to expedite and simplify the naturalization process for noncitizens who had served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. The WPA applied to both those who had served as noncombatants and those who had served as combatants. In 1943, Girouard (plaintiff), a Seventh Day Adventist, filed a petition for naturalization in federal district court. In his application, he indicated his willingness to take the oath of allegiance but stated that he was not willing to take up arms in defense of the United States because his religious beliefs prevented him from doing so. However, he expressed his willingness to serve in the military in a noncombatant role. The district court granted the naturalization application, but the court of appeals reversed, reasoning that Girouard was ineligible for citizenship pursuant to the judicially established rule requiring applicants to promise to bear arms. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)
Dissent (Stone, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 545,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 545,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 28,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.