SECRETARY OF NAVY V. HUFF, 444 U. S. 453 (1980)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Secretary of Navy v. Huff, 444 U.S. 453 (1980)

Secretary of the Navy v. Huff

No. 78-599

Argued November 6, 1979

Decided January 21, 1980

444 U.S. 453


Held: Navy and Marine Corps regulations which require military personnel on an overseas base to obtain command approval before circulating petitions do not, insofar as they affect the circulation within a base of petitions addressed to Members of Congress, violate 10 U.S.C. § 1034, which provides that

"[n]o person may restrict any member of an armed force in communicating with a member of Congress, unless the communication is unlawful or violates a regulation necessary to the security of the United States."

Congress enacted § 1034 to ensure that an individual member of the Armed Forces could write to his elected representatives without sending his communication through official channels. Permitting an individual member of the Armed Forces to submit a petition directly to any Member of Congress serves the purpose of § 1034 without unnecessarily endangering a commander's ability to preserve morale and good order among his troops. Thus, the statute does not invalidate regulations such as those involved here. Brown v. Glines, ante p. 444 U. S. 348.

188 U.S.App.D.C. 26, 575 F.2d 907, reversed.

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