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

 


Attorneys Batts And Taylor Elected To Lead State Drug Court Association

The Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals has elected attorneys Kevin Batts and Richard Taylor to leadership positions in the statewide group. Mr. Batts will serve as president and Mr. Taylor will serve as vice president of the association in 2015. Mr. Batts is director of the Drug Court in the 23rd Judicial District, serving five counties of Middle Tennessee. He ... (click for more)

Karen Tindell And Kelly Still Join Southern Community Bank

Robert Stahl, Chattanooga city president of Southern Community Bank, announced Karen Tindell and Kelly Still have joined the Chattanooga branch. “Karen joins the staff as assistant vice president and Kelly joins the staff as a commercial lender,” said Mr. Stahl.  “Together Karen and Kelly collectively have over 50 years’ experience in the financial industry with regional ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)