is father was a Boston Tea Party "Indian."
He graduated second in his class from Harvard, was a U.S. Representative, then was elected Massachusetts Speaker of the House.
At age 32, he was appointed as the
youngest Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
His name was
and he died SEPTEMBER 10, 1845.
served on the Supreme Court for 34 years.
He helped establish the illegality of the slave trade in the
When the Supreme Court ruled against the Democrat's Indian Removal Act (
Worcester v. Georgia, 1832
), Justice Joseph Story wrote March 4, 1832:
"Thanks be to God, the Court can wash their hands clean of the iniquity of oppressing the Indians and disregarding their rights."
Unfortunately, the Democrat President ignored the decision.
In the early period of American history, there were few "law schools," as the common way to become an attorney was to apprentice with a lawyer.
the Law School at Harvard
, the nation's oldest continuously operating law school, stating in a speech there in 1829:
has been a period of history,
in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity
as lying at
commented on the pamphlet "
The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States
" written by
Rev. Jasper Adams, President
College of Charleston,
"I have read it with uncommon satisfaction. I think its tone and spirit excellent.
My own private judgment has long been (and every day's experience more and more confirms me in it) that government can not long exist without an alliance with religion; and that
Christianity is indispensable to the true interests and solid foundations of free government
Vidal v. Girard's Executors
Justice Joseph Story
...is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public....
It is unnecessary for us, however, to consider the establishment of a school or college, for the propagation of...Deism, or any other form of infidelity.
Such a case is not to be presumed to exist in a
America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
"Why may not laymen instruct in the
general principles of Christianity
as well as ecclesiastics...
We cannot overlook the blessings, which such laymen by their conduct, as well as their instructions, may, nay must, impart to their youthful pupils.
Why may not
the Bible, and especially the New Testament
, without note or comment,
be read and taught
as a Divine Revelation...its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?"
"What is there to prevent a work, not sectarian, upon
the general evidences of Christianity
, from being read and taught in the college by lay teachers?
It may well be asked, what is there in all this, which is positively enjoined, inconsistent with the spirit or truths of
the religion of Christ
Are not these truths all taught by Christianity
, although it teaches much more?
Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from
the New Testament
view on religion is all the more significant as he was
to the Supreme Court
by President James Madison.
was known as the
"Chief Architect of the Constitution"
and had introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress.
Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States
"We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to
Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution)
At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the Amendment to it now under consideration,
the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State
so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship.
An attempt to level all religions
, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference,
would have created
universal disapprobation, if not
the duty of supporting
especially the Christian religion
, is very different from the right to force the consciences of other men or to punish them for worshiping God in the manner which they believe their accountability to Him requires...
The rights of conscience
are, indeed, beyond the just reach of any human power.
They are given by God
, and cannot be encroached upon by human authority without a criminal disobedience of the precepts of natural as well as of revealed religion..."
The real object of the First Amendment
was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to
exclude all rivalry among Christian sects
and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government."
Commentaries on the Constitution
Justice Joseph Story
commented on the reason the
Federal Government had no jurisdiction over religion
was because religion was under
each individual State's jurisdiction
"In some of the States,
constituted the predominant sect; in other,
; in others,
; in others,
; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects.
It was impossible that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in the abolishing the power...
...But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by
a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion...
the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments
, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the
Like a race track with 13 lanes, each State expanded religious freedom at its own speed.
Some State expanded it at faster pace, and other States had "Blue Laws" where all businesses were closed on Sundays, but it was up to the people in each State to decide.
This is similar to today, where:
Some States have Smoking Bans; others not;
Some allow Underage Drinking; others not;
Some allow Legalized Marijuana; others not;
Some allow Gambling & Prostitution; others not.
Regarding the Second Amendment,
Justice Joseph Story
wrote in his
Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
, 1833 (3:§§ 1890--91):
"The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted...
The militia is the natural defense
of a free country
sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and
domestic usurpations of power by rulers.
It is against sound policy for a free people to keep..
in time of peace...from...the facile means, which they
afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people.
The right of the citizens to keep and bear arm
s has justly been considered, as
of the liberties of a republic
; since it offers a strong moral
check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers
; and will...enable the people to resist and triumph over them..."
"And yet...it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is
a growing indifference
to any system of militia discipline...that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt;
thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of right