Bond v. Floyd
|Bond v. Floyd|
|Argued November 10, 1966|
Decided December 5, 1966
|Full case name||Bond, et al. v. Floyd, et al.|
87 S. Ct. 339; 17 L. Ed. 2d 235; 1966 U.S. LEXIS 75
|Though a State may impose all oath requirement on legislators, it cannot limit their capacity to express views on local or national policy.|
|Majority||Warren, joined by unanimous|
|U.S. Const. amends. I, XIV|
Julian Bond, an African American, was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in June 1965. Bond was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) which opposed the Vietnam war. After election, during a news interview, Bond endorsed the SNCC's views, and stated that he did not support the war, and, as a pacifist, he was opposed to all war. Members of the Georgia House of Representatives objected to Bond's statements, and petitioned to prohibit him from joining the House. A hearing was held, and Bond repeated his pacifist viewpoints, but maintained that he never urged draft card burning or other law violations. The House committee voted to prohibit Bond from joining the House.
Bond sued in federal court, but the District Court upheld the House, concluding that Bond's remarks exceeded criticism of national policy and that he could not in good faith take an oath to support the State and Federal Constitutions. Bond appealed to the Supreme Court.
Opinion of the Court
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ordered the Georgia House of Representatives to permit Bond to take his seat. The Court held:
- Though a State may impose oath requirements on legislators, it cannot limit their capacity to express views on local or national policy.
- A majority of state legislators is not authorized to test the sincerity with which another duly elected legislator meets the requirement for holding office of swearing to support the Federal and State Constitutions.
- The State may not apply to a legislator a First Amendment standard stricter than that applicable to a private citizen.
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