Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: April 4, 1861

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

4/4/1861: Justice John McLean dies.

Justice John McLean

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  1. MLK obviously had nothing to do with SCOTUS, but it is also the anniversary of his death.

    1. The Supreme Court said the city of Birmingham, Alabama legitimately could punish the Easter marchers in 1963.

  2. “A slave is not a mere chattel. He bears the impress of his Maker, and is amenable to the laws of God and man; he is destined to an endless existence.”

    Such fundamentalist claptrap! It is the very purpose of our Constitution, the Supreme Court repeatedly assures us, to ensure that we have a secular republic, and most especially to prevent our body politic from being poisoned by these dangerous, unAmerican, religious-fanatical ideas. To this end, the question of what constitutes human as distinct from subhuman life must, now as then, be reserved to it alone, for the same purposes today as before, to preserve the purity of the Republic and ensure that it remains free of the taint of ideas like Justice McClean’s.

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