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Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

United States Supreme Court
393 U.S. 503 (1969)


Facts

John Tinker, Mary Beth Tinker, and Christopher Echardt (plaintiffs), all minor school children, protested the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to their Des Moines school during the Christmas holiday season in December 1965. Tinker and the others were suspended by Des Moines Independent Community School District (defendant). The children and their parents brought suit in federal district court challenging their suspension as a violation of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The district court ruled in favor of the School District, and a tie vote in the court of appeals permitted the district court’s ruling to stand. Tinker appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

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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Dissent (Black, J.)

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