The Tinker V. Des Moines School District Case

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We, all, have the opportunity to voice our opinion on subjects that matter to us. The First Amendment grants us freedom of speech and expression. However, this was not provided to all students in 1968. During this time, there were three students in Des Moines, Iowa, who wore black armbands to school. These armbands were a symbol of protest against the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. After the Des Moines School District heard about this plan, they instituted a policy banning the wearing of armbands, leading to the suspension of students. A lawsuit has been filed against the Des Moines School District, stating how this principal goes against the students’ First Amendment rights. Thus, in the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District case, Justice Abe Fortes determined the policy to ban armbands is against the students’ First Amendment rights. Yet, Justice Hugo Black dissented with this decision, determining the principal is permissible under the First Amendment.
Through using case laws, the First Amendment, and previous cases, Justice Abe Fortas explains the reasoning behind why the principal was not permissible. In the first two paragraphs, Fortas provides a brief summary stating how the policy banning armbands go against the First Amendment. In the following paragraph, Fortas says, “Only a few of the 18,00 students in the school system wore the black armbands.” When introducing his first argument, he supports this fact explaining how “the work of the schools or any class was [not] disrupted.” As for the fourth paragraph, Justice Fortas provides a counter argument with what the District Court said. The District Court concluded the school authorities were reasonable since it was based upon their fear o...

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...ts, detailed explanation, and the First Amendment to show how the policy of the armbands goes against the First Amendment. As for Justice Hugo Black, he uses facts and other case decisions to explain why the policy is permissible under the First Amendment. Yet, Justice Black does not explain, in elaborate detail, the facts included nor a strong reasoning behind why he believes the policy is allowed. While Justice Abe Fortas and Justice Hugo Black did include strong points, Justice Abe Fortas was more convincing with his argument. For Justice Abe, every point connected, and the main points introduced were further developed through the case facts, the District Court’s decision, and other case decisions. There is a fluency that Justice Fortas had, which was not present in Justice Black’s dissenting opinion. Justice Black seemed jumpy, and his organization was confusing.

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