Location

Franz Hall 231

Start Date

22-6-2013 10:45 AM

End Date

22-6-2013 12:00 PM

Keywords

Ku Klux Klan, Oregon School Bill, Pierce v Society of Sisters

Description

On June 15, 1922, the Masons of Oregon launched a one-day petition drive that resulted in the placing on the November ballot of the Oregon Compulsory Education Bill. This bill required all schoolchildren between the ages of eight and sixteen to attend public school, thus forcing the closure of all private schools in the state, in particular those sponsored by the Catholic Church. After a hard fought campaign the bill passed, moving the campaign from the polls to the courts. On June, 1, 1925, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the bill to be unconstitutional. It is this three year journey that will be the subject of this paper. In the first part we shall follow the political campaign that led to the bill’s passage. We shall examine both supporters and opponents of the bill, as well as their arguments. In the second part we shall follow the bill on its journey from Federal District Court to the Supreme Court. We shall study the arguments put forth by both Hill Military Academy and the Society of Sisters, as well as the State of Oregon’s counterclaims. We shall also briefly look at some of the difficulties faced by the Catholic legal team. Finally, we shall examine the rulings of both Courts on the Bill. We shall close with a brief summing up the importance of the bill and the Court rulings for the future of private education, especially in our post 9-11 world.

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Jun 22nd, 10:45 AM Jun 22nd, 12:00 PM

From the Ballot Box to the Supreme Court: Oregon School Bill of 1922

Franz Hall 231

On June 15, 1922, the Masons of Oregon launched a one-day petition drive that resulted in the placing on the November ballot of the Oregon Compulsory Education Bill. This bill required all schoolchildren between the ages of eight and sixteen to attend public school, thus forcing the closure of all private schools in the state, in particular those sponsored by the Catholic Church. After a hard fought campaign the bill passed, moving the campaign from the polls to the courts. On June, 1, 1925, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the bill to be unconstitutional. It is this three year journey that will be the subject of this paper. In the first part we shall follow the political campaign that led to the bill’s passage. We shall examine both supporters and opponents of the bill, as well as their arguments. In the second part we shall follow the bill on its journey from Federal District Court to the Supreme Court. We shall study the arguments put forth by both Hill Military Academy and the Society of Sisters, as well as the State of Oregon’s counterclaims. We shall also briefly look at some of the difficulties faced by the Catholic legal team. Finally, we shall examine the rulings of both Courts on the Bill. We shall close with a brief summing up the importance of the bill and the Court rulings for the future of private education, especially in our post 9-11 world.