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Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

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

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District


John Tinker, Mary Beth Tinker, and Christopher Eckhardt (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 tied 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


Holding and Reasoning (Fortas, J.)

Concurrence (Stewart, J.)

Dissent (Harlan, J.)

Dissent (Black, J.)

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