Domestic Diversions

Writing “longer, easier to understand — and grumpier” court decisions

The New York Times notes three trends in U.S. Supreme Court opinions (length, clarity, tone) and references Brown v. Board of Education’s 4,000 words with Citizens United’s 48,000 words. The article discusses a linguistic software study scheduled for publication in the Washington University Law Review (computer scientists Daniel Rockmore and Keith Carlson, and law professor Michael A. Livermore).

Adam Liptak writes (excerpt):
Five current members of the court claimed spots in the top 10 list for grumpiness: Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Stephen G. Breyer, Anthony M. Kennedy, Scalia and Clarence Thomas. (Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were in the middle of the pack. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined too recently to be ranked.)


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