Carrie Gates | July 31, 2018
Linda Przybyszewski, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of History, has received the Hughes-Gossett Award for best article published in the Journal of Supreme Court History.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor presented the award to Przybyszewski at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual meeting on June 4 in Washington, D.C.
“As a legal historian, this was very exciting,” she said. “I didn’t even know I was up for the award. It was just a bolt out of the blue and such wonderful news.”
The article, “Scarlet Fever, Stanley Matthews, and the Cincinnati Bible Wars,” focuses on Matthews’ religious conversion to Presbyterianism after the death of four of his children and the influence that conversion had on his legal arguments.
Matthews served as a litigator for the Cincinnati School Board in an 1869 case brought against it for stopping daily readings of the Protestant Bible in the classroom. At the time, a large number of Catholics had immigrated to the city, and the school board changed the practice to ensure that children of all faiths felt welcome in the public schools.
Matthews, who went on to become an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully argued for religious liberty. That argument was even more powerful because of his faith, Przybyszewski said.
Read more here.