Calif. Courts Junk Teacher Loyalty Oath

California's State Supreme Court yesterday ruled invalid the University of California's loyalty declaration, required by the Board of Regents, and ordered the reinstatement of 13 teachers who had refused to sign.

This is the second time the courts have thrown out the controversial oath. Last year the District Court of Appeals ordered the University to reinstate the non-signers, but the regents balked. They recanted the oath only as far as that year was concerned, and left the 18 non-signers out in the cold.

Yesterday's decision upheld the Levering Act that requires a loyalty oath from all California state, county and local government employees. But the Court ruled that this act removed the regents' authority to make such regulations as the special oath.

Those teachers wanting their jobs back must sign the Levering Act, however, the Court decided. This was true before; the regents had made the Levering Act applicable by giving instructors the legal status of defense workers.

Last November the Regents voted to return to the 1949 Oathless contract, but 48 teachers still refused to sign.

Virtually all of the 18 non-signers have taken positions elsewhere. A spokesman for the group said it was unlikely they would take any action until it was known whether the Board of Regents would appeal the Supreme Court's decision.