Constitutional Law Keyed to Rotunda
Cole v. Richardson
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Richardson (Plaintiff) was hired as a researcher for a public hospital of which Cole (Defendant) was the superintendent. After being hired, Plaintiff was asked to take a loyalty oath required of all state employees. The oath required Plaintiff to swear to support the state and federal constitutions and to oppose the overthrow of the state and federal governments. Plaintiff believed the oath was unconstitutional and refused to subscribe to it. Plaintiff was fired and filed suit in federal court. The district court found the support clause of the oath constitutional, but held that the clause pledging opposition to government overthrow was unconstitutionally vague. Defendant petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.
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