Schwimmer, United States v. 279 U.S. 644 (1929)

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SCHWIMMER, UNITED STATES v. 279 U.S. 644 (1929)

When Rosiki Schwimmer applied for naturalization, officials questioned whether she could take the oath to "uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies" without reservation. She opposed war in all forms.

The question before the Supreme Court was whether Congress had intended to require willingness to perform combatant military service as a condition of naturalization. Justice pierce butler spoke for the Court and held that Congress had. Justice oliver wendell holmes dissented, joined by Justice louis d. brandeis. Holmes noted that Schwimmer, a woman of almost sixty years, would never actually be called upon to serve. Furthermore, taking a position against resort to armed forces was simply a reform objective no different from favoring a unicameral legislature. Justice edward t. sanford also dissented.

Schwimmer was overruled by girouard v. united states (1946).

Richard E. Morgan
(1986)