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The U.S. Supreme Court considered two issues in Keyishian v. Board of Regents. The first issue was whether regents of the State University of New York (SUNY) could require faculty to sign a loyalty oath as a condition of employment. The second issue concerned whether references to “treasonable or seditious speech or acts” in Section 3021 of the New York Education Law threatened the freedoms of speech and press that are fundamental to academic freedom in higher education. The Court declared both sections of state law unconstitutional in a decision that remains the foundation of jurisprudence in the area of academic freedom.

Facts of the Case

Keyishian and other appellants were faculty members at the University of Buffalo (UB), a private institution, and they became state employees ...

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