John Tinker vs. Des Moines

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by michael900courtney
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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John Tinker vs. Des Moines

Fortas: head justice/worte Majoraty opinionBlack: Wrote the DesintingHarlan: Wrote the Destinting

Justices Involved

The Judicial Branch has three courts, Supreme, Court of Appeals, and the District Courts. The Supreme Court is the head of the Judicial Branch. The Supreme Courts decision are usually only of national importance. All courts in the United States must follow ruling or decision of the justices of the Supreme Court. The decisions of the Supreme Court are absolute and final, any decisions or judgements reached in lower courts may be appealed or questioned.

Judicial Branch

This case became a law called the tinker test.

On February 24, 1969, the court’s seven to two decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reason for any specific regulation of speech in school. Justices Hugo Black and John M. Harlan II dissented. Black wrote, "While I have always believed that under the First and Fourteenth Amendments neither the State nor the Federal Government has any authority to regulate or censor the content of speech, I have never believed that any person has a right to give speeches or engage in demonstrations where he pleases and when he pleases." He declared that the Tinkers’ behavior was disruptive and that the distraction they have brought to the court and the freedom of speech was a distraction from schoolwork.


Recently, schools have banned the bracelet stating “I love boobies.” Isn’t this the same thing as the Tinker v. Des Moines case? Our First Amendment rights are being stopped by schools saying that the “I love boobies” bracelets are inappropriate. These bracelets were made to support and sponsor breast cancer awareness, not cause a problem.

"Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)." Bill of Rights Institute Landmark Supreme Court Cases Tinker v Des Moines 1969 Comments. N.p., 2010. Web. 23 Jan. 2014."Tinker Vs.Des Moines Independent School District." Tinker Vs.Des Moines Independent School District. N.p., 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2014."American Civil Liberties Union." American Civil Liberties Union. American Civil Liberties Union, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.

Works Cited

In High Schools around the world, there is not a single kid who doesn't have feedom to individualality. Every kid has the right to Freedom of Speech, and that might not be possible if the Tinker v. Des Moines case never happened. After this case, the First Amendment was protected and is the reason for universal freedom of speech.

John Tinker Vs. Des Moines


Five W's


Court Case was held here.

Effect on Students

Court Case

In December of 1965, a group of three kids, John F. Tinker, Mary Beth Tinker, and Chris Eckhardt, wore black armbands with a white peace sign on them. This symbolized a truce in the Vietnam War. This occurrence happened at Des Moines Independent Community School District. These students refused to take off the armbands and therefore were suspended for refusal of authority. On February 24 of 1969, the three children were set free for not doing anything wrong, simply defending the first amendment.

Relates to RHS


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