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10 Case & Com. 1 (1903-1904)

handle is hein.journals/cscmt10 and id is 1 raw text is: 








       Case and Comment

                                   NOTES OF

               RECENT IMPORTANT. INTERESTING DECISIONS

   INDEX TO ANNOTATION OF THE LAWYERS' REPORTS, ANNOTATED

                    LEGAL NEWS NOTES AND FACETI'E


VOL. 10.                           JUNE, 1903.                              No. 1.


         CASE AND     COMMENT
  Monthly. Subscription, 50 cents perannum pos-
paid. Single numbers, 5 cents.
   THE LAWYERS' CO-OPERATIrE PUB. CO.,
              Rochester, N. Y.
 NEW YORK,                     CHICAGO,
 ,9 Nassau St.               116 Monroe St.

 Entered at postoffice at Rochester, N. Y., as
         second-class mail matter.


Refusal of Clergyman to Perform Mar-
            riage Ceremony.

  One of the senseless queries which news-
papers are fond of raising and discussing in
a serious manner is the question which the
New York Sun and a considerable number of
other prominent newspapers have been pro-
pounding with respect to the right of a
clergyman to refuse to marry people who
have a legal right to be married, although by
church law they may, by reason of former
marriage and divorce, or other reason, be de-
nied the right to the religious ceremony of
marriage. Siace a clergyman is by the laws of
the state of New York, as most other states,
one of the persons who are allowed to per-
form a marriage ceremony, it has occurred
to some of these newspaper people that he is
thereby put under an obligation to perform
the ceremony for any persons who ask it, um-
less one of them at least is prohibited by law
from marrying. The idea that the legislature
of the state is empowered to regulate the
religious ceremonies and sacraments of the
churches is one that would hardly evolve it-
self through anything but the astute brain of
a person who was looking for something to
fill space. Most newspaper men, whether on
the Sun or journals that shed lesser light,


are probably enlightened enough to know
that marriage is in some of the churches a
religious sacrament. It might, therefore, oc-
cur to them without serious effort that for
the legislature to regulate the sacraments of
the church, and compel clergymen to admin-
ister those sacraments under the law of the
state, in contravention of the law of the
church, would not be exactly consistent with
the American constitutions, such as that of
New York, art. 1, § 3, which says: The free
exercise and enjoymentof religious profession
and worship without discrimination or pref-
erence shall forever be allowed in this state
to all mankind. We need not suppose, un-
til we see some indication of such purpose,
that there axe any legislatures ready to at-
tempt such a rank interference with ecclesi-
astical affairs as would be made by com-
pelling the clergyman of a church to perform
a sacrament in direct violation of the laws
of the church. If that happens, we may feel
fairly confident that our   constitutional
guaranties of religious freedom will be suffi-
cient to protect the churches against any
such interference. Meanwhile the topic may
continue to serve as a space filler for news-
paper editors, since its discussion will not
be likely to offend any large class of sub-
scribers or any of the valuable advertisers,
and therefore does not fall within the range
of subjects which the counting room prohib-
its the editors to mention.

       A Monkey on the Pole.

  Under this dignified and elegant title the
editor of the Baltimore Underwriter makes
a tilt at the editor of the Insurance Regis-
ter. A contribution to the discussion of a

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