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Labor and Employment Law

University of Michigan Law School

1966

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Elfbrandt V. Russell: The Demise Of The Loyalty Oath, Jerold H. Israel Jan 1966

Elfbrandt V. Russell: The Demise Of The Loyalty Oath, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

In Elfbrandt v. Russell, the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, declared unconstitutional Arizona's requirement of a loyalty oath from state employees. At first glance, Elfbrandt appears to be just another decision voiding a state loyalty oath on limited grounds relating to the specific language of the particular oath. Yet, several aspects of Mr. Justice Douglas' opinion for the majority suggest that Elfbrandt is really of far greater significance: it may sharply limit the scope and coverage of loyalty oaths generally and, indeed, may presage a ruling invalidating all such oaths. Of course, only the Supreme Court can determine ...