Facts of the Case

Provided by Oyez

Nebraska passed a law prohibiting teaching grade school children any language other than English. Meyer, who taught German in a Lutheran school, was convicted under this law.


  1. Did the Nebraska statute violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause?


  1. The Court declared the Nebraska law unconstitutional, reasoning it violated the liberty protected by Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Liberty, the Court explained, means more than freedom from bodily restraint. It also includes the right of a teacher to teach German to a student, and the right of parents to control the upbringing of their child as they see fit. While the state has a legitimate interest in encouraging the growth of a population that can engage in discussions of civic matters, the means it chose to pursue this objective was excessive.