“Jews” at One First Street

April 4th, 2011

Justice Kagan, quite proud of her Jewish Heritage, and celebration of Christmas at a Chinese restaurant, casually used the word “Jews” to refer to Jewish people in Winn.

Consider some further examples of the point, but this time concerning state funding of religion. Suppose a Statedesires to reward Jews—by, say, $500 per year—for their religious devotion. Should the nature of taxpayers’ con-cern vary if the State allows Jews to claim the aid on their tax returns, in lieu of receiving an annual stipend?

Is it kosher (pun intended) to simply refer to “Jewish people” as Jews in this fashion? I personally don’t mind, and use this term all the time, though I know some in older generations may take umbrage. Is it OK now that the Court uses such phrasing?

I did a quick U.S. search for “Jews” and got 116 hits. The term was used in, inter alia, CLS v. Martinez, McCreary County v. ACLU, and Van Orden v. Perry. I suppose it is mainstream enough?