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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Still more on judicial language

Picking up on Bill's thread on judicial language comes this from Aaron Caplan (Loyola-LA): In his opinion for the Court in Scott v. Harris (dealing with summary judgment in a § 1983 action resulting from a high-speed chase that was video-recorded), Justice Scalia repeatedly referred to Harris as "respondent" while referring to Deputy Scott by name. This included six times in which Scalia quoted either from the lower-court decision or from Justice Stevens' dissent and went out of his way to replace Harris' name with [respondent].

What should we draw from that--whether about judicial decision making, judicial writing, legal writing, Justice Scalia, or anything else? And is it worth talking about in class and, if so, how? Aaron posed the latter question to the Civ Pro Prof listserv, in anticipation of teaching Scott. I just finished it today, but am going to point this out to my students on the course blog.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 28, 2013 at 06:08 PM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman, Judicial Process | Permalink


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It's worth noting that Justice Stevens used the same labels in his dissent:

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Mar 1, 2013 12:49:56 AM

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