Meyer v. Nebraska


 After World War I, Americans were not in favor of all German related things. Language was a major principal focus of legislation at the state and local level. The performance of German music at symphony concerts and the meetings of German-American civic associations were things that Americans find objectionable. Some states and towns even banned the use of German language. On April 9, 1919, Nebraska enacted a statute called Siman Act, a restrictionrelating to the teaching of foreign languages in the state of Nebraska”.

 On May 25, 1920, Robert T. Meyer, when an instructor in Zion Parochial School in Hampton, Nebraska taught the subject of reading in the German language to 10-year-old Raymond Parpart, a fourth-grader. The school charged Meyer with violation the Siman Act. He was found guilty in the Nebraska Supreme Court, he then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. As protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 7 to 2 decision, the Court held that it was indeed a violation of the Due Process Clause (an violation of people’s liberty). This was one of the very first cases in which the Court found that people had liberty rights not specifically listed in the Constitution.