Lee Davis: Legal Word Of The Day - Obiter Dictum

Monday, August 25, 2014

Obiter dictum is something that is said in passing.  It is an observation or opinion of the court but one not necessary to the decision at hand.  It is sometimes a persuasive point but not relevant to the issue decided.

Mr. Chief Justice Taney writing for the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sanford—one of the greatest travesties in American history--stated: ‘this court has decided against the jurisdiction of the circuit court…and if anything it may say upon that part of the case will be extra-judicial, and mere obiter dicta.” Dred Scott brought a lawsuit for his freedom in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri. He received a verdict in his favor, but this decision was deemed obiter dicta because a black person in 1856 was not recognized as a citizen of the United States.

 The obiter dictum in Dred Scott became the basis for the XIV Amendment ratified on July 9, 1868.  “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and any of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person visits in its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

 Obiter dictum is pronounced (ob-i-ter dik-tem)

Lee Davis
Davis & Hoss, PC
508 East 5th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403

423-266-0605

 



New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: AIR-TECH CHARLES  ABLES HVAC SERVICE 515 LUPTON DR CHATTANOOGA TN 37415 AMERICAN CONCRETE SERVICES ANDREW  SHANE CONCRETE CONTRACTORS 1788 E POINSETT ST EXTENTION GREER SC 29651 AMERICAN WASTE SERVICES   DUMPSTER RENTAL 10219 HWY 58 OOLTEWAH TN 37363 ... (click for more)

Walker County Business Conference Sponsored By SouthCrest Bank Will Be Held Sept. 26

The Walker County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Business Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 26. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Walker County Civic Center. The keynote speaker is Vincent Phipps, an award-winning international speaker, author, trainer, and CEO of Communication VIP Training and Coaching. “Amplify Your Attitude!” combines what Mr. Phipps calls the ... (click for more)

Coolidge Park Crowd Gets Twilight, Cricket Chirping As Solar Eclipse Arrives

A crowd at Coolidge Park and the nearby Walnut Street Bridge got twilight and cricket chirping as the heralded solar eclipse finally arrived at mid-afternoon Monday. As the moon moved across the sun around 2:30 p.m., birds quit chirping and began to roost. Crickets started going full force. Lights on the Market Street Bridge began to flicker on. The event, sponsored by Comcast, ... (click for more)

Former TVA Engineer From Chattanooga Has Ideal Equipment, Venue For Eclipse Front Row Seat

A former TVA engineer from Chattanooga had the top equipment and venue for the solar eclipse he has been waiting 47 years to see. Bob Anderson, a graduate of East Ridge High and UTC, said he went to the library at the time of a partial eclipse in Chattanooga in 1970 and noted there would be a full one in 2017. He said, "I never dreamed I would get to view it with the equipment ... (click for more)

The Soul Of Chattanooga Is In Trouble

As a child growing up in the Chattanooga area, at an early age I became fascinated with the history that cloaks the city. In those days there was enough pollution to cover the town and its history but that didn't stop tourists from coming to visit Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga battlefield.     Chattanooga's leadership was not very far sighted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Writing From Bragg Avenue

Far and away, my favorite comment on destroying statues appeared on my Facebook page the other day and, believe it or not, it was the clear-minded Times Free Press Sports Editor Stephen Hargis who penned, “This statue offends me! It must be torn down!” Underneath his fiery words, the long-suffered UT football fan posted a picture of the bronze monument outside of Bryant-Denny stadium ... (click for more)