Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Holy Trinity Case and Ten Years:

An anonymous commenter did some research and made this point regarding D. James Kennedy's assertion that the Supreme Court spent ten years researching the Holy Trinity decision to come to the conclusion that "America is a Christian Nation."


If the Supreme Court spent 10 years researching this issue, it wasn't in connection with this case. The first paragraph of the court's opinion states that Holy Trinty and Walpole entered into the contract in Sept. 1887. The Supreme Court issued its opinion on Feb. 29, 1892. Thus, less than 5 years passed from the time of the contract until the court issued this opinion.

In the last sentence of the first paragraph, the court cites the decision of the Circuit Court (36 Fed. Rep. 303) that was appealed to the Supreme Court. The Circuit Court's opinion was issued on March 21, 1888. The appeal to the Supreme Court would have been filed after that date, so the Supreme Court's decision was issued slightly less than 4 years later.

Finally, according to the opinion of the Circuit Court, the statute in question was enacted on Feb. 26, 1885, only 7 years before to the Supreme Court's decision.

If somebody spent 10 years of meticulous research on this question, it wasn't the Supreme Court.


Yes, and also keep in mind that the "America is a Christian Nation" utterance by Justice Brewer was simply dicta, not the issue in the case which the Court decided. It doesn't really make sense that the Court researches for ten years to make a rhetorical point in its dicta. So I guess Kennedy, like David Barton whom he often cites, is full of it.

1 comment:

Ron said...

This reminds me of a saying about forest and trees. I doubt they spen as much as two years "sutdying the issue." It only takes a few minutes to realize the truth of which the Court speaks.