United States v. Burry

36 C.M.R. 829 (1966)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

United States v. Burry

United States Coast Guard Board of Review
36 C.M.R. 829 (1966)

Facts

After joining the Coast Guard, Commissaryman Clayton Burry (defendant) joined the Radio Church of God. This religion prohibited its members from working from sunset on Friday until sunrise on Sunday. Initially, Burry’s military duties did not interfere with his ability to practice his religion. However, Burry was then transferred and had to work on Saturdays on two occasions. Burry was transferred again to the U.S.S. Tamarack as a cook. Burry requested personal liberty every Saturday to accommodate his religious needs. Because another cook was on board who could handle Saturday duties, Burry was given Saturday liberty for the first few months. The other cook was then transferred to another station, leaving Burry as the only cook on the Tamarack. Burry went ashore the next Friday night and did not report for duty again until Sunday morning. Burry’s commanding officer imposed a nonjudicial punishment that restricted Burry to the ship for the next seven days. This punishment meant that Burry was aboard the ship the next Saturday. On Saturday, the commanding officer ordered Burry to cook. Burry refused, stating that he felt more compelled to follow God’s laws than man’s laws. A special court-martial was convened for Burry’s disobedience to this order. A chaplain interviewed Burry and confirmed that Burry’s religious convictions were sincere. The court-martial’s members were instructed that exercising religious freedom was not a defense to disobedience. However, the members were instructed that they could consider whether the order was unlawfully given with the commanding officer’s knowledge that Burry would not obey it, solely to increase Burry’s punishment. Burry was convicted and sentenced to hard labor, a rank reduction, and a bad-conduct discharge. Burry appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

What to do next…

  1. 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 734,000 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
  2. 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 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership