Earlier this year an English judge used an obscure section of 19th century election law to unseat the mayor of Tower Hamlets, a borough of London.
The Guardian tells how the term “undue spiritual influence” was passed down from the 1880s, when it was intended “specifically to constrain the influence of the Roman Catholic clergy on what the English establishment took to be the ignorant and impressionable minds of the Irish proletariat,” according to the story.
There’s great background here on the 1872-1892 period in Ireland.
In April, a modern judge was “entirely unashamed to use a law that was developed to subdue Irish Roman Catholics and then apply it to a contemporary religious minority that is suffering from a very similar brew of racism and hostility to what is seen as their foreign religious practises, i.e. Islam.”