GOLDMAN v. WEINBERGER

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
84-1097
Petitioner 
Goldman
Respondent 
Weinberger
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Goldman was a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, an Orthodox Jew, and an ordained rabbi. He was not allowed to wear his yarmulke while on duty and in Air Force uniform. An Air Force regulation mandated that indoors, headgear could not be worn "except by armed security police in the performance of their duties."

Question 

Did the Air Force Regulation violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Weinberger, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Free Exercise of Religion

The Court held that the Air Force regulation did not violate the Constitution. Justice Rehnquist argued that, generally, First Amendment challenges to military regulations are examined with less scrutiny than similar challenges from civilian society, given the need for the military to "foster instinctive obedience, unity, commitment, and esprit de corps." Since allowing overt religious apparel "would detract from the uniformity sought by dress regulations," the Air Force regulation was necessary and legitimate. In 1987, Congress passed legislation which reversed this decision and allowed members of the armed forces to wear religious apparel in a "neat and conservative" manner.

Cite this Page
GOLDMAN v. WEINBERGER. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 31 July 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1097>.
GOLDMAN v. WEINBERGER, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1097 (last visited July 31, 2014).
"GOLDMAN v. WEINBERGER," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed July 31, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1097.