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Barnette at 80 & What It Means Today
June 7, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
*Please note: due to the format of the event, we will be unable to broadcast through teleconferencing. We appreciate your understanding.*
June 14, 2023 (Flag Day) will mark the 80th anniversary of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, one of the most famous, significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions in history.
In Barnette, the Supreme Court decided, and Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote the Court’s opinion explaining, that it is unconstitutional for government to compel schoolchildren to salute and to pledge allegiance to the American flag.
John Q. Barrett, professor of law at St. John’s University and Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow and a board member at the Robert H. Jackson Center, will lead a community discussion on Barnette as a historical matter, and what it might mean for how we think about collisions between laws and rules that apply to all and individuals who wish to differ.
This is about the American flag.
It’s about Colin Kaepernick.
It’s about bakers, website designers, and other commercial service-providers who choose based on religious beliefs not to provide services to same-sex weddings. (The Supreme Court will decide such a case, possibly reshaping Barnette, in the next few weeks.)
It’s about racism and sexism and our anti-discrimination laws.
It’s about all of us constituting a country together while each of us is a person with thoughts, beliefs, conscience, and moral rights.
All people, from school kids to seniors, are invited to come to the Robert H. Jackson Center to listen, to talk, and to be what they are alongside and with everyone else.