Lessons From Another Stinging Scalia Dissent

by:  Peter J. Gallagher

Forgive me another brief digression from our usual subject matter  . . . On Monday, law360.com published my article, "Lessons From Another Stinging Scalia Dissent."  Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that Justice Scalia knows how to write an entertaining opinion.  In the article, I discuss a recent dissent he authored in which, among other things, he declares that the citizens of Wyoming deserve to be called "Wyomans" instead of what the dictionary calls them, "Wyomingites."  For Justice Scalia, the people of Wyoming deserve better than to share their name with a type of lava.  Beyond this entertaining aside, the opinion provides good examples of something that Justice Scalia does better than any other current justice, with the possible exception  of Chief Justice Roberts, which is to write in an easily accessible, engaging manner that is both compelling and convincing.  Although not everyone can write like Justice Scalia, and none of us can get away with the sharp rhetoric he occasionally employs, it is worthwhile to try to emulate his style and approach to writing, both of which translate well to the more routine writing that we do every day.

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