Neutral Principles of Law and the Problems of Deference

So far, we’ve been discussing the role of civil courts in church property disputes in the context of the “deference” approach: that is, the courts will defer to the decisions of the highest church authorities. This was the position taken by the Supreme Court in both of its major Orthodox cases, Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral and Serbian Diocese v. Milivojevich. Not…

Moscow v. the Metropolia in the Supreme Court, Part 2: Justice Frankfurter’s concurring opinion

In my previous two articles (available here), I discussed the majority opinion in the 1952 Supreme Court case Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral. Today, I’ll discuss the concurring opinion of Justice Frankfurter. And just to be clear — “concurring opinion” means that Justice Frankfurter agreed with the ultimate outcome of the case (a victory for the Moscow Patriarchal jurisdiction), but differed to…

Moscow v. the Metropolia in the Supreme Court, Part 1(a): Justice Reed’s majority opinion revisited

Yesterday, I discussed Justice Reed’s majority opinion in Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, a landmark 1952 Supreme Court case pitting the Moscow Patriarchate’s North American jurisdiction against the Metropolia (today’s OCA). The dispute was about which group — Moscow or the Metropolia — was the rightful owner of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York. The…