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Wooley v. Maynard

United States Supreme Court
430 U.S. 705 (1977)



A New Hampshire law required all drivers’ license plates to display the state’s motto, Live Free or Die. George and Maxine Maynard (defendants) were Jehovah’s Witnesses and considered the motto immoral and against their religious beliefs. As the Maynards did not want to display the motto for people to see, the Maynards repeatedly covered the license plates on their car. George Maynard was convicted multiple times of violating the New Hampshire law, fined, and sentenced to six months in prison. He served fifteen days. Maynard sued the state in federal district court, seeking declaratory relief and an injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing the law against him and his wife. The district court granted the injunction, and the state appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burger, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

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