Chief Writer

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 9, 2013

Guest-blogging over at The Volokh Conspiracy, Ross Guberman makes the case for Chief Justice Roberts as the best writer on the Supreme Court. Much of the case is made by comparing the chief to Justice Kennedy, which is kind of like making a case for the superiority of the Harlem Globetrotters by comparing them to the Washington Generals.

That having been written, the chief does have some lovely turns of phrase to his credit. Consider:

If such a shoe exists, the parties have not pointed to it, there is no evidence that Already has dreamt of it, and we cannot conceive of it. It sits, as far as we can tell, on a shelf between Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Perseus’s winged sandals.

[. . .]

High school students can appreciate the difference between speech a school sponsors and speech the school permits because legally required to do so . . . Surely students have not lost that ability by the time they get to law school.

[. . .]

[T]here is indeed a real difference between a suit against the State brought by a private party and one brought by a state agency. It is the difference between eating and cannibalism; between murder and patricide. While the ultimate results may be the same — a full stomach and a dead body — it is the means of getting there that attracts notice. I would think it more an affront to someone’s dignity to be sued by a brother than to be sued by a stranger. While neither may be welcomed, that does not mean they would be equally received.

And you thought that reading legal opinions might be boring.

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