Garner v. Board of Public Works of Los Angeles

341 U.S. 716
Garner v. Board of Public Works of Los Angeles
Argued: April 25, 1951
Decided: June 4, 1951


Messrs. Charles J. Katz, Los Angeles, Cal., Samuel Rosenwein, New York City, for petitioners.
Mr. Alan G. Campbell, Los Angeles, Cal., for respondents.
Mr. Justice CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.

Dissenting Opinion

Mr. JUSTICE BLACK, dissenting.

I agree with the dissenting opinion of Mr. JUSTICE DOUGLAS but wish to emphasize two objections to the opinion of the Court:

1. Our per curiam opinion in Gerende v. Board of Supervisors, 341 U.S. 56, in no way stands for the principle for which the Court cites it today. In Gerende, we upheld a Maryland law that had been interpreted by the highest court of that state to require only an oath that a candidate “is not a person who is engaged ‘in one way or another in the attempt to overthrow the government by force or violence,’ and that he is not knowingly a member of an organization engaged in such an attempt.” The oath and affidavit in the present case are obviously not so limited.

The opinion of the Court creates considerable doubt as to the continued vitality of three of our past decisions; Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 277; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333; United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303. To this extent it weakens one more of the Constitution’s great guarantees of individual liberty. See, e.g., Dennis v. United States, ante, p. 494, and Breard v. Alexandria, ante, p. 622, decided this day.

Back to Top

Exported from Wikisource CC-BY-SA 3.0

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).