Thursday, November 14, 2013

Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States case brief

Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States case brief summary
143 U.S. 457; 12 S. Ct. 511; 36 L. Ed. 226 (1892)


CASE SYNOPSIS: Petitioner church challenged the judgment of the U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York, which held that it was in violation of federal law when it contracted with a pastor in England to come to the U.S. for employment.

CASE FACTS: Petitioner church contracted with a pastor in England to come to the U.S. for employment at its church. Petitioner was charged and convicted for violating federal law, which prevented an employer from contracting with foreign laborers to come to the U.S. for employment. Petitioner challenged its conviction, arguing that the law did not apply to churches.

DISCUSSION
  • The court held that the term "laborer" in the federal statute applied only to cheap unskilled labor, and not to professional occupations, such as ministers and pastors. 
  • The court determined that it would be absurd for the law to apply in this instant, and reversed petitioner's conviction.
CONCLUSION: The court reversed the judgment of the lower court and held that petitioner did not violate federal law since the law only applied to cheap unskilled foreign workers, and not to professional occupations, such as ministers and pastors. The court remanded for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Also in this case, the Court, after a several page review of the Christian History of the United States, concluded by saying that "this is a Christian nation." And then using that as that in its reasoning against the lower court.

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