Thursday, May 6, 2010

Phil Donahue on Robert H. Jackson

Legendary talk show host Phil Donahue interviewed KNOCKING subject Lillian Gobitas last week for a video that will honor Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson's support of First Amendment freedoms. Lillian appeared in KNOCKING to tell her story about being expelled from school for refusing to salute the flag.

Mobs began attacking Jehovah's Witnesses for being unpatriotic when Lillian lost her case at the U.S. Supreme Court in 1940. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt spoke out against the discrimination. The Supreme Court realized it had made a mistake and reversed its decision in 1943 in one of the most landmark First Amendment cases in U.S. history. That's when Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote his famous phrase: "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion."

Phil Donahue interviewed Lillian, who is now in her 80s, at her Kingdom Hall in suburban Atlanta. Below is a previous video of Mr. Donahue speaking about Jehovah's Witnesses and Lillian Gobitas. He is clearly impressed with the stands Witnesses made and how their Supreme Court cases benefitted the First Amendment freedoms of all U.S. citizens.

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