64 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 431 (2002-2003)
Pledging Allegiance to the Constitution: The First Amendment and Loyalty Oaths for Faculty at Private Universities

handle is hein.journals/upitt64 and id is 441 raw text is: ARTICLES
PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO THE CONSTITUTION: THE FIRST
AMENDMENT AND LOYALTY OATHS FOR FACULTY AT
PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES
Gabriel J. Chin*
Saira Rao**
I. INTRODUCTION
Academic loyalty oaths are thought of as a relic of the 1950s,' but
fourteen states require them of some or all professors and teachers by statute.2
These are not just laws on the books, as there continues to be a stream of cases
on loyalty oaths,3 including cases on that sub-species of loyalty oath, the
*    Professor of Law, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law. B.A., Wesleyan
University; J.D., Michigan Law School; LL.M., Yale Law School. Thanks to Pierre Bergeron, Don Blair.
Ed Brewer, Paul Caron, Rebecca Chin, Sarah Chin, Suzanne Emam, Rafael Gely, Leora Harpaz, Toni
Massaro, Donna Nagy, Suja Thomas, Tod Thompson, Howard Wasserman and Adam Wolf for their
comments and advice. I also benefited from a discussion of this paper at Faculty Workshops at the
University of Cincinnati College of Law and the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky
University. The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors. Email: gchin@aya.yale.edu.
** B.A., University of Virginia; J.D., New York University School of Law.
1.  See, e.g., Fern Kupfer, The Tenure Safety Net, NEWSDAY, Mar. 2,2003, atB15 (notingthe bad
old days, when professors had to take a loyalty oath against communism); John Rogers, Civil Liberties:
Pledge ofAllegiance Has Checkered Legal History, CHARLESTON GAZETTE (W. VA.), July 27, 2002, at 5A
(This nation long ago abandoned loyalty oaths.).
2.   See infra notes 25-62 and accompanying text.
3.   See, e.g., Lawson v. Washington, 296 F.3d 799 (9th Cir. 2002) (upholding dismissal of
discrimination claim by state trooper cadet who resigned rather than take an oath inconsistent with religious
beliefs); Galvez-Letona v. Kirkpatrick, 54 F. Supp. 2d 1218 (D. Utah 1999) (challenging oath requirement
for naturalization of individual with Downs Syndrome); Bessard v. Cal. Cmty. Coils., 867 F. Supp. 1454

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