In the last 12 months, more than 1,500 people submitted cases to FIRE when their rights were in jeopardy.

Hear their stories — and how we're fighting back — by subscribing today.

First Amendment Library:
Don H. Reuben


This case arises out of the National Labor Relations Board's exercise of jurisdiction over lay faculty members at two groups of Catholic high schools. We granted certiorari to consider two questions: (a) Whether teachers in schools operated by a church to teach both religious and secular subjects are within the jurisdiction granted by the National Labor Relations Act; and (b) if the Act authorizes such jurisdiction, does its exercise violate the guarantees of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment? 434 U. S. 1061 (1978).


In November 1961, the United States Commission on Civil Rights issued the fifth volume of its Report for that year, a document entitled Justice. A part of Justice was devoted to a study of "police brutality and related private violence," and contained the following paragraph:

"Search, seizure, and violence: Chicago, 1958.— The Supreme Court of the United States decided the case of Monroe v. Pape on February 20, 1961. Although this decision did not finally dispose of the case, it did permit the plaintiff to sue several Chicago police officers for violation of the Federal Civil Rights Acts on the basis of a complaint which alleged that:
". . . [O]n October 29, 1958, at 5:45 a. m., thirteen Chicago police officers led by Deputy Chief of Detectives *281 Pape, broke through two doors of the Monroe apartment, woke the Monroe couple with flashlights, and forced them at gunpoint to leave their bed and stand naked in the center of the living room; that the officers roused the six Monroe children and herded them into the living room; that Detective Pape struck Mr. Monroe several times with his flashlight, calling him `nigger' and `black boy'; that another officer pushed Mrs. Monroe; that other officers hit and kicked several of the children and pushed them to the floor; that the police ransacked every room, throwing clothing from closets to the floor, dumping drawers, ripping mattress covers; that Mr. Monroe was then taken to the police station and detained on `open' charges for ten hours, during which time he was interrogated about a murder and exhibited in lineups; that he was not brought before a magistrate, although numerous magistrate's courts were accessible; that he was not advised of his procedural rights; that he was not permitted to call his family or an attorney; that he was subsequently released without criminal charges having been filed against him." Justice 20-21.
A week later, Time, a weekly news magazine, carried a report of the Commission's new publication. The Time article began:
"The new paperback book has 307 pages and the simple title Justice. It is the last of five volumes in the second report of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, first created by Congress in 1957. Justice carries a chilling text about police brutality in both the South and the North—and it stands as a grave indictment, since its facts were carefully investigated *282 by field agents and it was signed by all six of the noted educators who comprise the commission."
There followed a description, with numerous direct quotations, of one of the incidents described in Justice, and then the following account of the Monroe incident:
"Shifting to the North, the report cites Chicago police treatment of Negro James Monroe and his family, who were awakened in their West Side apartment at 5:45 a. m. by 13 police officers, ostensibly investigating a murder. The police, says Justice, `broke through two doors, woke the Monroe couple with flashlights . . . .' "
The Time article went on to quote at length from the summary of the Monroe complaint, without indicating in any way that the charges were those made by Monroe rather than independent findings of the Commission.