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Shelton v. Tucker

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 364 U.S. 479, 81 S. Ct. 247, 5 L. Ed. 2d 231 (1960)

Brief Fact Summary. This case held unconstitutional an Arkansas statute which required every teacher, as a condition to employment in a state-supported school or college, to file annually an affidavit listing without limitation every organization to which he has belonged or regularly contributed within the preceding five years.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The state has the right to investigate the competence and fitness of those whom it hires to teach in its schools. However, to compel a teacher to disclose all their associational ties is to impair that teacher’s right of association.


Facts. Arkansas’ statute, Act 10, required every teacher, as a condition to employment in a state-supported school or college, to file annually an affidavit listing without limitation every organization to which he has belonged or regularly contributed within the preceding five years. The Petitioner, Mr. Shelton (Petitioner), an Arkansas teacher for twenty-five years, refused to file an affidavit. At trial, evidence revealed that Petitioner was a member of the NAACP. The trial court upheld Act 10, finding that the information sought was “relevant.”

Issue. Whether Act 10 deprives teachers in Arkansas their rights to person, associational and academic liberty?

Content Type: Brief


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