Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, October 30, 2015

When Justices Talk Pope

The above is the title of a piece in last month's National Law Journal that is worth a read. Written to coincide with the Pope's visit, I myself missed it in the deluge of press coverage. However, especially after Pope Francis's historic address to Congress and the craze with which politicians tried to reap professional benefit from his visit, the article is worth review.

Marcia Coyle documents the 11 cases in which the pope was mentioned in oral argument during the last 60 years. While some are expected cases regarding the establishment clause in Lynch v. Donnelly and the ministerial exception in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, others were far more surprising. The pope has been used in several hypotheticals by the justices, well before it experienced its majority Catholic representation. Even a solicitor general quoted Rerum Novarum and Mater et Magistra in an NLRB dispute with the Bishop of Chicago.

As the discussion of the appropriate role of the pope in the world percolates in the wake of Francis' visit, the piece is worth a fresh read.


Leary, Mary G. | Permalink