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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Jurisprudential homonyms

Today I was writing about the Supreme Court's decision in Hicks v. Miranda, a 1975 Younger abstention case. This, of course, is only the Court's second most-famous Miranda case. This Miranda, who was the plaintiff in the case, owned and operated a theatre in California trying to show "Deep Throat".

This got me thinking: What are some examples of pairs or sets of SCOTUS cases featuring parties with the same or similar names, especially where one case is much more famous than the others. Note that I'm thinking of cases involving different parties who happen to have the same names. So this will not include the multiple habeas cases involving Louie L. Wainwright, the long-time Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. Nor will it include Harry Connick, Sr., the long-serving District of Attorney for New Orleans, who helped give us execrable law in both public-employee speech and municipal liability. Different spellings are ok--for example, Ginsberg and Ginzburg.

Have at it in the comments.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 1, 2012 at 09:31 AM in Howard Wasserman | Permalink


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The two United States v. Nixon cases, involving Judge Walter and some guy named Dick.

Posted by: Andrew Siegel | Nov 1, 2012 2:49:33 PM

This is slightly different, but when I was interviewing with Justice Ginsburg, she asked me about a case called "Aguilar" or maybe "Aguillard" it was hard to tell (she's quiet). I assumed she was asking about the creation-science case of Edwards v. Aguillard, because that case played a big role in my student note. We talked about this for maybe 5 minutes before it became clear to me that she was talking about Aguilar v. Felton, another church-state case that was before the court at the time. This worried me.

Posted by: Jay Wexler | Nov 1, 2012 11:40:45 AM

The running joke down here was that Jose changed the pronounciation once his was transferred to the Southern District of Florida.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Nov 1, 2012 10:50:34 AM

Surprisingly not homonyms: Padilla v. Kentucky and Rumsfeld v. Padilla. (Ignore what the Pronouncing Dictionary says: according to Jose Padilla'a family, the preferred pronunciation is puh-DILL-uh.)

Posted by: James Grimmelmann | Nov 1, 2012 10:32:19 AM

Muller v. Oregon and Fox Film v. Muller. But there's probably a reason I remembered those off the top of my head....

Posted by: Derek T. Muller | Nov 1, 2012 9:48:06 AM

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