Friday, June 27, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: WE WIN first Ruling - Court Rules Virginia Statute 57-9 is Consitutional

UPDATE: The Ruling that the Virginia Division Statute is constitutional is here.

The judge has also issued a Letter of Opinion where he answers five questions he posed to both the CANA Counsel and the TEC/Diocese of Virginia Counsel and again, this opinion hits the ball right out of the park. What is so refreshing - which is such a change after witnessing five General Conventions - is that the judge sticks to the law, he doesn't make it up along the way. TEC and the Diocese have used the same kind of reasoning that they use when they disregard scripture and the meaning of words (remember how Judge Bellows was astonished that the expert that TEC put up to explain the meaning of the word "branch" had no idea, just some general observations and feeling about the word - the judge noted that the "expert" hadn't even consulted a dictionary, which ironically was thrown back at him by the TEC lawyer at the Constitutional hearing, nearly ridiculing the judge's initial ruling to his face - it was astonishing then and in the second ruling we see today, that was duly noted by the judge). That is not the case in this court of law.

As soon as there is a link to the Letter of Opinion, it will be here.

12 comments:

Rob said...

God is good!

Annie said...

Hallelujah! Butter beer and chai for everyone! I'm buying.

AnnieCOA

Ted said...

Great news, but are there any more details yet? What does it mean that we won the "first ruling"?

Karen said...

awesome! Thanks be to God!

Sibyl said...

At the bottom of the last page is this footnote:

69 Whether it violates the Contracts Clause is a matter expressly reserved for a later date.

What does this mean? Were you expecting this, BB?

Zana said...

Pass the firewhisky, please, and let's raise a toast to the judge!

BabyBlue said...

Sibyl, yes, now the question before the counsel is what is the scope for the October trial. Have the Virginia churches satisfied the statute? Will that be the scope of the trial now - as well as the discovery? That is what we hoped and prayed for.

bb

kc said...

BB, do you understand what Judge Bellows means when he says, in a final footnote to his conclusion stating the the division statute does not violate the 1st amendment, that "Whether it violates the Contracts Clause is a matter expressly reserved for a later date." ?

kc

Steven in Falls Church said...

Regarding footnote 69, TEC and the Diocese have argued that the Division Statute is a violation of the "Contracts Clause" to the U.S. Constitution. The Contracts Clause (U.S. Const. Art. I Sec. 10) forbids states from passing a law "impairing the Obligation of Contracts." The argument is that the passage of 57(9) impaired a preexisting contract between the Diocese and the departing parishes under which, presumably, the parishes promised always to be attached to the Diocese. I believe that this argument would only be potentially applicable to The Falls Church as that is the only parish of the 11 Virginia parishes that predates the passage of 57(9) (even Truro post-dates 57(9)). Personally, I think the Contracts Clause is a thin read on which TEC leans as it can be argued that 57(9) merely clarified the legal standard under which parishes could depart a church body, but that the right to depart always existed as a matter of common law. Hence there was no such "contract" or if there was, the contract was understood as being be subject to the legal environment that 57(9) merely clarified. My two cents. BB, correct me if I am wrong on anything.

By the way, just perusing the opinion it appears to be an up-and-down the dial body-slam of TEC and the Diocese. These folks really should stop wasting their money on this case.

Steven in Falls Church said...

Make that "thin reed." Duuuuh . . . .

Anonymous said...

This is a good day. But one must still be very careful of this wounded dragon.

Anonymous said...

A minor quibble - "We" didn't win.

We are competing for property; God is competing for souls.

God wins regardless of the outcome.

RalphM