Maynard vs. Wooley and the Historic Judgment Essay by Garota bonita

Maynard vs. Wooley and the Historic Judgment
The following paper discusses the Maynard vs. Wooley court case, a case which pushed the Supreme Court to reflect and evaluate the intricate web of rights and interactions between the individual, state and federal government.
# 6798 | 1,335 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Feb 07, 2003 in Law (Constitution) , Law (Historic Trials)

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The following paper discusses both sides of both issues of the Maynard vs. Wooley case. In 1969, the New Hampshire legislature approved a law that obligated most non-commercial motor vehicle license plates to display the state motto ?Live free or die.? This act of the state was intended to promote appreciation of state individualism, history, and pride, and on a more practical level to distinguish passenger New Hampshire license plates from others. George and Maxine Maynard, two devoted Jehovah?s Witnesses residing in New Hampshire, however, were offended by the statement that conflicted with their religious and moral beliefs. Finding the statement objectionable, the couple covered then later cut out the words from the plate, believing that displaying them would be equal to an affirmation and open endorsement of the statement. Their refusal to carry the motto on their plate violated New Hampshire statutes RSA 262:27-c and RSA 263:1 that required the display of the motto on all non-commercial plates and outlawing any deliberate obscuration of or damage done to the motto. The Maynards objected to the fines and charges against him, and the case went to the New Hampshire state court, where the judge ruled in their favor. The interests of the people were put at risk for the pursuit of a state interest that was relatively quite insignificant and could be achieved in less drastic means. The author discusses the Supreme Court?s final ruling that chose to place priority on personal freedoms and rights.

From the Paper:

"A great deal of the case focused on the state's violation of the First Amendment, which protects the Maynards" freedom of religion and speech, and of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides that the citizens? rights cannot be infringed on by the state. The Maynards believed, and later the greater part of the Court agreed in Justice Burger's opinion, that the N.H. statute R.S.A 262:27-c itself was unconstitutional because it ?forces an individual, as part of his daily life - constantly while his automobile is in public view - to be an instrument for fostering public adherence to an ideological point of view he finds unacceptable. In doing so, the State "invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control."

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Maynard vs. Wooley and the Historic Judgment (2003, February 07) Retrieved December 02, 2023, from

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