In a later case, Westcoast Energy, (62) when confronted with statements from La Forest J's judgment, however, the Court did not explicitly describe La Forest J's reasoning as minority reasoning but instead attempted to narrow the reading of his comments and to identify them as obiter dicta
, (63) thus arguably effectively accepting the reasoning of Cory and Iacobucci JJ as that of a crosscutting majority.
Also, given Guidi's deep and extensive reading of the sources, one must take into account even what amount to obiter dicta
, such as his comments on Machiavelli's supposed religiosity or on the intellectual effects of the geographic distribution of mendicant houses.
The Court's declaration was not essential to resolution of the case before it, and the statement is characterized in the law as obiter dicta
, and therefore not of a binding nature on later decisions to the same degree as a holding squarely affecting the merits of the case at bar; nevertheless, it did create a cloud on the meaning of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, as to whether children born here to illegal aliens are "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States and therefore entitled to citizenship status.
In obiter dicta
concurred in by Justice McCracken, Justice Murray looks at possible alternative legal remedies which A might pursue to right the wrong done to her by R's deceptions.
Admired his formidable intelligence and learning, his commitment to teaching ("I'll probably keep at it till I drop," he remarked to me upon my own academic retirement, "and then I'll have myself stuffed and go on teaching"), his obiter dicta
("I'll never do a fiction-writing workshop," he once vowed to me: "When I'm reading a bad student paper on Plato, at least I'm thinking about Plato; but when I'm reading a bad student short story about trout fishing, I'm not thinking about anything").
Spalinger's work blends meticulous attention to detail and careful analysis with occasional obiter dicta
. Although he must inevitably deal (and sometimes disagree) with the views of previous scholars, the book is not primarily polemical.
He quotes Napoleon's obiter dicta
to the effect that all politicians are to be regarded as "dealers in hope".
Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch all wrote in both languages, achieving greatness in their vernacular works while praising the eloquence of classical Latin; but their obiter dicta
comparing the two languages are based on ill-defined linguistic notions.
We glimpse, through obiter dicta
and glancing allusions, a felt theory of how great fiction is written, of how it must emerge from the life and living of its author." (17)
On Matthews' own account, the view that distributism requires government support derives from a few obiter dicta
of Cecil Chesterton, who died in the First World War before his dicta could be acted on, and to the state support given the Basque initiative Mondragon in its early stages, which came from the Franco regime in Spain.
Another complaint of Jonsen's is that in construing the Quinlan decision as reaffirming medical paternalism I pay too much attention to the "few words at the end of an opinion that lays out a powerful case for patient and surrogate autonomy ..." But even assuming arguendo that Jonsen's counting is correct, the few words at the end of an opinion constitute the most important part of a case's holding, that part of the decision which actually creates law, as distinguished from its obiter dicta
which, however lengthy it may be, does not possess the same legal weight.
So if the reader can chase away the exasperations which might be provoked by the wilful, the whimsical and the self-indulgent, then perhaps he/she will discover, in this baggy hold-all, unexpected connections, pithy insights, memorable obiter dicta
and a refreshingly individualistic way of sorting through the treasure-house of Western (and Eastern) culture.
A good example, full of shrewd obiter dicta
, is Presidential Greatness.