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Cummings v. Missouri (1867) is often overlooked in modern legal history, and very little scholarly literature exists chronicling the case’s implications for contemporary constitutional jurisprudence. When awareness does exist, there is a tendency to classify Cummings as simply a Civil War-era religious liberty case—a mischaracterization which reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the ruling’s background and modern relevance. In reality, born out of post-war paranoia over loyalty and past Confederate allegiances, the Cummings case is most notable as landmark judicial precedent in defining the U.S. Constitution’s proscriptions of bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, and possesses very little significance today for religious liberty jurisprudence. Beginning with an analysis of the contemporary historical and political circumstances at hand, this article seeks to reframe the scholarly conversation surrounding Cummings to reflect the true place of importance it holds in the anthology of American legal history.