Religion Lite --

the best explanation I could find for Justice Breyer's spelling "Deity" as "Diety" in his Van Orden v. Texas opinion (which, as you may recall, argued for upholding one Ten Commandments display on the grounds that, in context, it was less intensely religious than the one Justice Breyer voted to strike down).

See here for Juan Non-Volokh's original catch of the typo.

Bob Woolley (mail):
Oh, please. Have you never learned to read between the lines?

It is *obviously* a sly reference to the Diet of Worms, one of the key events in the Protestant/Catholic schism of Christiandom. Martin Luther was hauled before the Diet and challenged about his 95 theses. Part of his famous response was this: "I confide neither in the Pope nor in a Council alone, since it is certain they have often erred and contradicted themselves."

Breyer is thus cuing his savvy readers that, yes, the two 10-commandments cases "contradicted themselves," and that citizens should not confide in the Council (i.e., the court) alone.

Digging even deeper, it may be intended to refer to the fact that Catholics, Protestants, and Jews all find 10 commandments, but three different sets of 10. It is as if to say, "If you people who all believe in these words can't even agree on what the 10 commandments are, how can we as a court come up with an internally consistent decision on when displaying the darn things is constitutional?"

Prof. Volokh, your talent for discerning these subtle nuances in Supreme Court rulings is shockingly shallow.
7.11.2005 3:58pm
Joe Jackson:
Whatever. It was *obviously* a spelling error, for which you are now scrambling to find a witty excuse.
7.11.2005 4:29pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Hmm, Joe, might it be that Bob's post was a witty joke, rather than an excuse? (Or is your own post a joke so subtle that I missed it?)
7.11.2005 5:18pm
Baronger (mail) (www):
"I before E except after C"

He probably just fell victum to one of the most basic spelling rules we all learned as children. The problem being that there are always the weird exceptions.
7.11.2005 7:36pm
If you want to parse it down to that level, I suppose it's also possible that Justice Breyer did not personally type the opinion.
7.11.2005 8:41pm
It's not a weird exception (although "weird" is, of course!)

I before E except after C
or in cases of A such as neighbor and weigh (and deity)

cathy :-)
7.11.2005 9:34pm