Unusual, Strange & Funny Judicial Decisions and Opinions logoMr. Justice Lewis of the Pennsylvania Court had before him a will which was generous to the widow ... but only if she did not remarry.

This was the wrong judge for this type of nonsense. He saw the threat this will posed to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms.

The principle of reproduction stands next in importance to its elder-born correlative self-preservation, and is equally a fundamental law of existence.

It is the blessing which tempered with mercy the justice of expulsion from Paradise. It was impressed upon the human creation by a beneficent Providence, to multiply the images of himself, and thus to promote His own glory and the happiness of His creatures.

ParadiseNot man alone, but the whole animal and vegetable kingdom are under an imperious necessity to obey its mandates.

From the lord of the forest to the monster of the deep, from the subtlety of the serpent to the innocence of the dove, from the celastic embrace of the mountain kalmia to the descending fructification of the lily of the plain, all Nature bows submissively to this primeval law.

Even the flowers which perfume the air with their fragrance, and decorate the forests and fields with their hues, are but curtains to the nuptial bed.

The principles of morality, the policy of the nation, the doctrines of the common law, the law of nature and the law of God, unite in condemning as void the condition attempted to be imposed upon his widow.


  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stauffer, [1849] USFJDO 1; also cited at 10 Pa. 350 (1849)