ACNA Amicus Brief in the Falls Church Case

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ACNA brief in the Falls Church case
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    No. 13-449  __________ In the Supreme Court of the United States    __________ T HE F  ALLS C HURCH ,   P ETITIONER ,   v . T HE P ROTESTANT E PISCOPAL C HURCH IN THE U NITED  S TATES OF  A  MERICA  ,   ET AL .,   R ESPONDENTS .    __________ ON PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA    ____________________ BRIEF OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA, THE AMERICAN  ANGLICAN COUNCIL, THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH, THE DIOCESE OF QUINCY, AND THE DIOCESE OF SAN JOAQUIN AS  AMICI CURIAE   IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS J OHN P.   C UNNINGHAM  * Counsel of Record  B RIAN L.   W HISLER  S TEVEN F.   H ILL T REVOR N.   M C F  ADDEN    Baker & McKenzie LLP 815 Connecticut Ave. Washington, D.C., 20006 (202) 835-1677 John.Cunningham@bakermckenzie.com  Counsel for  Amici Curiae     i QUESTION PRESENTED Whether the First Amendment permits civil courts to retroactively impose a trust on local church property based on provisions in church canons that were never embodied in any secular instrument of property ownership, were not intended to be legally binding by the parties, and did not comply with state law at the time of their adoption.     ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page QUESTION PRESENTED ........................................... i TABLE OF CONTENTS .............................................. ii TABLE OF AUTHORITIES ....................................... iii INTRODUCTION AND INTERESTS OF  AMICI CURIAE   ........................................................... 1 REASONS FOR GRANTING THE PETITION .......... 6 I. This Court Should Grant The Petition And Clarify the Status of Canons Which TEC Itself Has Long Acknowledged Are Not Legally Cognizable. ............................................... 6 II. This Court Should Grant The Petition And Clarify The Application Of Jones’   “Neutral Principles Of Law” Standard In Order To Reduce Church Property Litigation And The Burdens It Imposes On Congregations, Dioceses, and Denominations. ............................ 15 CONCLUSION .......................................................... 19   iii TABLE OF AUTHORITIES Page(s) C  ASES    Bjorkman v. PECUSA Diocese of Lexington , 759 S.W.2d 583, 586 (Ky. 1988) ................................... 12 Jones v. Wolf  , 443 U.S. 595, 599 (1979) ............  passim   Sohier v. Trinity Church , 109 Mass. 1 (1871) ........ 8, 9 O THER  A  UTHORITIES    Bishops’ Statement On The Polity Of The Episcopal Church  (April 2009) (http://anglicancommunioninstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/bishopsstatement_pdf.pdf) ......................................................................... 16 Colin Podmore,  A Tale of Two Churches: The Ecclesiology of the Episcopal Church and the Church of England Compared , 8 International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 124 (May 2008) ...................................................... 17 Edwin A. White   & Jackson A. Dykman,   Annotated Constitution and Canons for the Government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America  (Second Ed., Rev. 1954) (Seabury Press 1954) .................... 11, 12 Edwin A. White   & Jackson A. Dykman,   Annotated Constitution and Canons for the Government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America otherwise known as The Episcopal Church  (Church Publishing Inc., New York 1981 & 1997 reprint) 13, 14 ,17
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