The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld non-sectarian prayers at town council meetings, though Justice Elena Kagan offered up a spirited dissent against these public invocations. But there was one problem buried deep with her arguments — a factual error that led the high court to officially correct the rebuttal.
“In 1790, George Washington traveled to Newport, Rhode Island, a longtime bastion of religious liberty and the home of the first community of American Jews,” Kagan wrote in her initial rebuttal.
The justice was using a story about the nation’s first president in an effort to prove her point that sectarian prayers have no place in government meetinghouses. But as Tablet Magazine writer Yair Rosenberg first reported earlier this month, Kagan, who is Jewish, had one of her facts entirely wrong.
“Kagan made a small miscue in her Jewish history lesson: she labeled Newport as ‘the first community of American Jews,’ when that honor in fact belongs to New Amsterdam (today’s New York), where Jews settled in 1654,” he noted.
After numerous blogs and news sites picked up the story, the Supreme Court corrected Kagan’s dissent.
The new language reads, “In 1790, George Washington traveled to Newport, Rhode Island, a longtime bastion of religious liberty and the home of one of the first communities of American Jews.”
As TheBlaze previously reported, Kagan called the prayers at town meetings in Greece, New York, “explicitly Christian” in her dissent, railing against the majority opinion.
“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian — constantly and exclusively so,” she said. “The prayers betray no understanding that the American community is today, as it long has been, a rich mosaic of religious faiths.”
(H/T: Tablet Magazine)