Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: July 4, 1776


7/4/1776: Declaration of Independence is signed.

Stone Engraving of the Declaration of Independence



NEXT: The Declaration of Independence will never be outmoded, as President Coolidge explained

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  1. Ok, got to say this: This one is just stupid.

    How can an event that occurred years before there was a Supreme Court be Supreme Court history?

    Either rename the series, or limit it to history of the Supreme Court.

    1. He also includes births of early justices, sometimes even further back than 1776…

    2. Three cheers for Brett.

    3. Have any Supreme Court decisions ever mentioned the Declaration of Independence?

      1. I’m sure many have, while admitting that it’s not a controlling document.

  2. O, and since Dave Kopel’s post seems to have disappeared, here is a reminder to make sure to read all the way to the end to understand the founding fathers’ commitment to equality:

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

  3. I’ve come across this interesting post about the anti-slavery clause that was deleted from Jefferson’s original draft. (Presumably because people felt that there was some limit to the amount of hypocrisy that any single person should be able to produce.)

    “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another..”

    1. Martinned, isn’t it clear that Jefferson was looking for as much support as possible for the cause of independence? It’s a kitchen sink approach. The list of complaints was internally inconsistent precisely because he included anything that someone might agree with, hoping that that person would then support independence. That said, the Declaration of Independence is still an amazing document.

      1. That said, the Declaration of Independence is still an amazing document.

        I’m sorry my friend, you can’t have it both ways. As with the Bible, you either take it all as Scripture or you don’t.

        1. Pretty funny for an atheist to lecture theists on what they must accept, and I include both documents in this hypocrisy.

  4. It was ratified on July 4, but not signed that day, except perhaps by John Hancock.

    1. The convention voted and approved it on July 2nd.

    2. captcrisis is awarded a Noble Prize for achievement in identifying inadequacy in This Day in Supreme Court History.

      Just another day in Barnett-Blackman “scholarship.”

  5. Happy Independence Day everyone! 🙂

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