Kerrville, Texas (October 7, 2016) – The Kerrville Municipal Court has received a special donation from the American Judicial Alliance – a unique signatory Bible known as the “Harlan Bible.”
In 1906, Justice John Marshall Harlan gave his personal copy of the Bible to the Supreme Court of the United States. Since that time it has become known as the “Harlan Bible” and is maintained by the court’s curator. The “Harlan Bible” is an Oxford Sunday School Teachers Edition King James Bible with blank pages for notes. Without exception, the Harlan Bible’s flyleaf pages have been signed by every justice in succession shortly after taking the oath of office.
Retired Judge Darrell White, head of the American Judicial Alliance, hopes to perpetuate this signatory tradition in courts throughout the United States. In early August, Judge White dedicated one such Bible to the Kerrville Municipal Court. This Bible is leather bound and gold embossed with the court’s name on the cover.
The American Judicial Alliance’s stated goal is to revive the notion that we are “one nation under God.” In this regard, Judge White personally dedicates Harlan Bibles to courts around the country as a reminder of the Judeo-Christian principles upon which the nation’s laws were founded. He has personally presented Harlan Bibles to the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, along with a host of other state, federal and municipal courts across the country.
“This has been an eye opening experience and I’m very glad that Judge White is doing this. I wasn’t even aware of that tradition at the United States Supreme Court, and I’ve been practicing now for 18 years,” said Kerrville Municipal Judge Patrick Maguire. “I think it’s important for all of us in this day and age to remember the foundations of our legal system and our society.”
Both Kerrville Municipal Judges Patrick Maguire and Mark Prislovsky have signed the Kerrville Municipal Court’s new copy of the Harlan Bible. The Bible will be kept at the Kerrville Municipal Court and eventually Judge Maguire hopes to be able to place the Bible on display.
This exerpt from “Powers of the American people, Congress, President, and courts: (according to the evolution of constitutional construction)” by Masuji Miyakawa, was published in 1908 by the Baker & Taylor co. (pp. 346-349) Mr. Miyakawa grasped in 1908 the same essense of what America needs today. [Bonus: Look for Justice Harlan to show up after the jump!]
“Strange to say, the American judges, ever since the organization of the Government, have been the least criticised and least arraigned public officers. On the contrary they have been the most respected and most honored among all the dignitaries of America. We may attribute this strange phenomenon to the fact that the only thing which the American will obey is law and the only thing in which he will know the meaning of obedience is his relation to law. The judges of the United States and of the several States are thoroughly conscious of their exceptional privileges and immunities; also of their correspondingly great responsibilities as the only interpreters of the law, to whom alone the final construction of the law of the land is unreservedly entrusted.
All the American judges realize this. The American people know that the strictest obedience to law is the foundation stone of the strength and permanence of the republic. This has been understood by the American people ever since they founded their country. Departure from this common understanding tends to involve national ruin by creating anarchy. Superficial observers who see but the so called material side of American progress, or those who are devotees of the game of profit, do wrong when they do not appreciate the fundamental proposition that the people are the backbone of progress.
Such superficiality not only fails to grasp the true situation, but also fails to appreciate the true meaning of the beneficent opportunity upon which the Americans build their higher and nobler civilization. The statements recently made that the American people have changed their allegiance from the great principles which they embodied in the Declaration of Independence to the worship of the almighty dollar, and that the American people have changed from their appreciation of the Bible to the worship of the sword are evidence of the fact that their authors are but shallow students of the America of to day.
To illustrate the fallacy of such statements: Continue reading