Professor Finkelman Cited in Supreme Court Justice's Dissent on Prayer Decision


In the widely publicized U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding prayer in a town meeting in the town of Greece, N.Y., Justice Elena Kagan cited Professor Paul Finkelman’s amicus brief in her dissent.

Justice Kagan stated in a lengthy footnote Professor Finkelman’s point: “that in revising his first inaugural address, [George] Washington deleted the phrase 'the blessed Religion revealed in the word of God' because it was understood to denote only Christianity.”

Prof. Finkelman has been cited before in major decisions: the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry (2005) regarding religious monuments in public spaces and his scholarship on the Second Amendment has also been cited by the Supreme Court. He is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law, and an expert in constitutional history and freedom of religion. He has written extensively on Thomas Jefferson and on Abraham Lincoln and was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case.


Here is Justice Kagan's footnote citing Prof. Finkelman.