cover of book

Armed with the Constitution: Jehovah's Witnesses in Alabama and the U.S Supreme Court, 1939-1946
by Merlin Owen Newton
University of Alabama Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-8173-0736-3 | Paper: 978-0-8173-1228-2
Library of Congress Classification KF4783.N45 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 342.730852


This fascinating history underscores the importance of “little people” in affecting the U.S. government. It stresses the courage of a black man, Rosco Jones, and a white woman, Grace Marsh, who dared to challenge the status quo in Alabama in the early 1940s. These two Jehovah’s Witnesses helped to lay a foundation for testing the constitutionality of state and local laws, establishing precedents that the Civil Rights movement, the feminist movement, and similar forces could follow. Newton has prepared a finely woven tale of oral, legal, and social history that opens a window on the world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Alabama.

            But the book is more than a legal study; it is also a dramatic history of two powerful personalities whose total commitment to their faith enabled them to carry the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ battle from rural Alabama to the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nearby on shelf for Law of the United States / Federal law. Common and collective state law. Individual states: