“Words are the building blocks of the law. If we aren’t fastidious with language it dilutes the effectiveness and clarity of the law.”
The entry introduced an infographic titled, “9 Writing Styles Epitomized by Current Sitting SCOTUS Justices.” It’s drawn from a variety of publicly available citations about how the Justices use the language – some of which are listed below.
According to the infographic, Chief Justice Roberts aims for “clarity” while Justice Scalia might have an extended acute affinity for “judicially brainstormed” adverbs. It also indicates an element of caution, where Justice Sotomayor, for example, is a “careful speaker” and Justice Kagan a very thorough reader.
- WSJ: Why Adverbs, Maligned by Many, Flourish in the American Legal System
- New Republic: Antonin Scalia Is the Supreme Court’s Greatest Writer
- New York Times: Keep the Briefs Brief, Literary Justices Advise
- Politico: Sotomayor: I struggled with English
- ABC News: Winery Reacts to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Impromptu Endorsement
- CNN: Samuel Alito Fast Facts
- Business Insider: 6 writing tips from a sitting Supreme Court justice
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Photo credit: Flickr, Tim Sackton, Supreme Court in Bloom (CC BY-SA 2.0)