Reading Law

The Interpretation of Legal Texts

Author: Antonin Scalia,Bryan A. Garner

Publisher: West Group

ISBN: 9780314275554

Category: Law

Page: 567

View: 7721

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In this groundbreaking book, Scalia and Garner systematically explain all the most important principles of constitutional, statutory, and contractual interpretation in an engaging and informative style with hundreds of illustrations from actual cases. Is a burrito a sandwich? Is a corporation entitled to personal privacy? If you trade a gun for drugs, are you using a gun in a drug transaction? The authors grapple with these and dozens of equally curious questions while explaining the most principled, lucid, and reliable techniques for deriving meaning from authoritative texts. Meanwhile, the book takes up some of the most controversial issues in modern jurisprudence. What, exactly, is "textualism?" Why is "strict construction" a bad thing? What is the true doctrine of "originalism?" And which is more important: the spirit of the law, or the letter? The authors write with a well-argued point of view that is definitive yet nuanced, straightforward yet sophisticated.

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law

Federal Courts and the Law

Author: Antonin Scalia

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400822171

Category: Law

Page: 176

View: 8241

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We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim--"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal--good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative. In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the "strict constructionism" that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly "smuggle" in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals. This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.

Making Your Case

The Art of Persuading Judges

Author: Antonin Scalia,Bryan A. Garner

Publisher: West Legalworks

ISBN: 9780314184719

Category: Law

Page: 245

View: 9079

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Presents the basics of writing legal briefs and giving oral arguments, with discussions on the essentials of building a case through legal reasoning and the key elements of persuasive and successful oral pleading in the courtroom.

Scalia's Court

A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents

Author: Antonin Scalia

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1621575330

Category: Political Science

Page: 592

View: 995

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The sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia shook America. After almost thirty years on the Supreme Court, Scalia had become as integral to the institution as the hallowed room in which he sat. His wisecracking interruptions during oral arguments, his unmatched legal wisdom, his unwavering dedication to the Constitution, and his blistering dissents defined his leadership role on the court and inspired new generations of policymakers and legal minds. Now, as Republicans and Democrats wage war over Scalia’s lamentably empty Supreme Court seat, Kevin Ring, former counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Constitution Subcommittee, has taken a close look at the cases that best illustrate Scalia’s character, philosophy, and legacy. In Scalia’s Court: A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents, Ring collects Scalia’s most memorable opinions on free speech, separation of powers, race, religious freedom, the rights of the accused, abortion, and more; and intersperses Scalia's own words with an analysis of his legal reasoning and his lasting impact on American jurisprudence. “I don’t worry about my legacy,” Scalia once told an audience at the National Archives. “Just do your job right, and who cares?” Now that "the lion of American law has left the stage,” as the U.S. Attorney General put it, it is for the rest of America to worry about his legacy—and to care.

Originalism

A Quarter-Century of Debate

Author: Steven G. Calabresi

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1596980605

Category: Political Science

Page: 360

View: 4835

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What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country.This is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.

The Political Thought of Justice Antonin Scalia

A Hamiltonian on the Supreme Court

Author: James B. Staab

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 1461714931

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 408

View: 7706

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The Political Thought of Antonin Scalia: A Hamiltonian on the Supreme Court traces Justice Antonin Scalia's jurisprudence back to the political and constitutional thought of Alexander Hamilton. Not only is there substantial agreement between these two men in the areas of constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, executive and judicial power, but the two men also have similar temperaments: bold, decisive, and principled. By examining the congruence in thought between Hamilton and Scalia, it is hoped that a better and deeper understanding of Justice Scalia's jurisprudence will be achieved. While an abundance of scholarship has been written on Justice Scalia, no one has systematically examined his political philosophy. This book also draws out the important differences between Justice Scalia's jurisprudence and that of the other conservative members of the Court_the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas.

American Original

The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Author: Joan Biskupic

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

ISBN: 9781429990011

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 448

View: 2197

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The first full-scale biography of the Supreme Court's most provocative—and influential—justice If the U.S. Supreme Court teaches us anything, it is that almost everything is open to interpretation. Almost. But what's inarguable is that, while the Court has witnessed a succession of larger-than-life jurists in its two-hundred-year-plus history, it has never seen the likes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Combative yet captivating, infuriating yet charming, the outspoken jurist remains a source of curiosity to observers across the political spectrum and on both sides of the ideological divide. And after nearly a quarter century on the bench, Scalia may be at the apex of his power. Agree with him or not, Scalia is "the justice who has had the most important impact over the years on how we think and talk about the law," as the Harvard law dean Elena Kagan, now U.S. Solicitor General, once put it. Scalia electrifies audiences: to hear him speak is to remember him; to read his writing is to find his phrases permanently affixed in one's mind. But for all his public grandstanding, Scalia has managed to elude biographers—until now. In American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the veteran Washington journalist Joan Biskupic presents for the first time a detailed portrait of this complicated figure and provides a comprehensive narrative that will engage Scalia's adherents and critics alike. Drawing on her long tenure covering the Court, and on unprecedented access to the justice, Biskupic delves into the circumstances of his rise and the formation of his rigorous approach to the bench. Beginning with the influence of Scalia's childhood in a first-generation Italian American home, American Original takes us through his formative years, his role in the Nixon-Ford administrations, and his trajectory through the Reagan revolution. Biskupic's careful reporting culminates with the tumult of the contemporary Supreme Court—where it was and where it's going, with Scalia helping to lead the charge. Even as Democrats control the current executive and legislative branches, the judicial branch remains rooted in conservatism. President Obama will likely appoint several new justices to the Court—but it could be years before those appointees change the tenor of the law. With his keen mind, authoritarian bent, and contentious rhetorical style, Scalia is a distinct and persuasive presence, and his tenure is far from over. This new book shows us the man in power: his world, his journey, and the far-reaching consequences of the transformed legal landscape.

The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts

Author: Bryan A. Garner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199826629

Category: Law

Page: 528

View: 542

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Good legal writing wins court cases. It its first edition, The Winning Brief proved that the key to writing well is understanding the judicial readership. Now, in a revised and updated version of this modern classic, Bryan A. Garner explains the art of effective writing in 100 concise, practical, and easy-to-use sections. Covering everything from the rules for planning and organizing a brief to openers that can capture a judge's attention from the first few words, these tips add up to the most compelling, orderly, and visually appealing brief that an advocate can present. In Garner's view, good writing is good thinking put to paper. "Never write a sentence that you couldn't easily speak," he warns-and demonstrates how to do just that. Beginning each tip with a set of quotable quotes from experts, he then gives masterly advice on building sound paragraphs, drafting crisp sentences, choosing the best words ("Strike pursuant to from your vocabulary."), quoting authority, citing sources, and designing a document that looks as impressive as it reads. Throughout, he shows how to edit for maximal impact, using vivid before-and-after examples that apply the basics of rhetoric to persuasive writing. Filled with examples of good and bad writing from actual briefs filed in courts of all types, The Winning Brief also covers the new appellate rules for preparing federal briefs. Constantly collecting material from his seminars and polling judges for their preferences, the second edition delivers the same solid guidelines with even more supporting evidence. Including for the first time sections on the ever-changing rules of acceptable legal writing, Garner's new edition keeps even the most seasoned lawyers on their toes and writing briefs that win cases. An invaluable resource for attorneys, law clerks, judges, paralegals, law students and their teachers, The Winning Brief has the qualities that make all of Garner's books so popular: authority, accessibility, and page after page of techniques that work. If you're writing to win a case, this book shouldn't merely be on your shelf--it should be open on your desk.

Purposive Interpretation in Law

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400841267

Category: Law

Page: 448

View: 7224

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This book presents a comprehensive theory of legal interpretation, by a leading judge and legal theorist. Currently, legal philosophers and jurists apply different theories of interpretation to constitutions, statutes, rules, wills, and contracts. Aharon Barak argues that an alternative approach--purposive interpretation--allows jurists and scholars to approach all legal texts in a similar manner while remaining sensitive to the important differences. Moreover, regardless of whether purposive interpretation amounts to a unifying theory, it would still be superior to other methods of interpretation in tackling each kind of text separately. Barak explains purposive interpretation as follows: All legal interpretation must start by establishing a range of semantic meanings for a given text, from which the legal meaning is then drawn. In purposive interpretation, the text's "purpose" is the criterion for establishing which of the semantic meanings yields the legal meaning. Establishing the ultimate purpose--and thus the legal meaning--depends on the relationship between the subjective and objective purposes; that is, between the original intent of the text's author and the intent of a reasonable author and of the legal system at the time of interpretation. This is easy to establish when the subjective and objective purposes coincide. But when they don't, the relative weight given to each purpose depends on the nature of the text. For example, subjective purpose is given substantial weight in interpreting a will; objective purpose, in interpreting a constitution. Barak develops this theory with masterful scholarship and close attention to its practical application. Throughout, he contrasts his approach with that of textualists and neotextualists such as Antonin Scalia, pragmatists such as Richard Posner, and legal philosophers such as Ronald Dworkin. This book represents a profoundly important contribution to legal scholarship and a major alternative to interpretive approaches advanced by other leading figures in the judicial world.

Antonin Scalia's Jurisprudence

Text and Tradition

Author: Ralph A. Rossum

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780700623501

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 308

View: 3384

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The first comprehensive, reasoned, and sympathetic analysis of how Scalia has decided cases now covers his entire Supreme Court tenure.

Garner on Language and Writing

Selected Essays and Speeches of Bryan A. Garner

Author: Bryan A. Garner

Publisher: Amer Bar Assn

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 839

View: 4325

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Presents a collection of essays on such topics as style, persuasion, contractural and legislative drafting, writing in law practice, and judicial writing.

Reflections on Judging

Author: Richard A. Posner

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674184653

Category: Law

Page: 392

View: 5621

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For Richard Posner, legal formalism and formalist judges--notably Antonin Scalia--present the main obstacles to coping with the dizzying pace of technological advance. Posner calls for legal realism--gathering facts, considering context, and reaching a sensible conclusion that inflicts little collateral damage on other areas of the law.

Interpreting Law

A Primer on How to Read Statutes and the Constitution

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781634599122

Category:

Page: N.A

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Judging Statutes

Author: Robert A. Katzmann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199362157

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 5225

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In an ideal world, the laws of Congress--known as federal statutes--would always be clearly worded and easily understood by the judges tasked with interpreting them. But many laws feature ambiguous or even contradictory wording. How, then, should judges divine their meaning? Should they stick only to the text? To what degree, if any, should they consult aids beyond the statutes themselves? Are the purposes of lawmakers in writing law relevant? Some judges, such as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, believe courts should look to the language of the statute and virtually nothing else. Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit respectfully disagrees. In Judging Statutes, Katzmann, who is a trained political scientist as well as a judge, argues that our constitutional system charges Congress with enacting laws; therefore, how Congress makes its purposes known through both the laws themselves and reliable accompanying materials should be respected. He looks at how the American government works, including how laws come to be and how various agencies construe legislation. He then explains the judicial process of interpreting and applying these laws through the demonstration of two interpretative approaches, purposivism (focusing on the purpose of a law) and textualism (focusing solely on the text of the written law). Katzmann draws from his experience to show how this process plays out in the real world, and concludes with some suggestions to promote understanding between the courts and Congress. When courts interpret the laws of Congress, they should be mindful of how Congress actually functions, how lawmakers signal the meaning of statutes, and what those legislators expect of courts construing their laws. The legislative record behind a law is in truth part of its foundation, and therefore merits consideration.

Nino and Me

My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia

Author: Bryan A. Garner

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501181505

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 2590

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From legal expert and veteran author Bryan Garner comes a unique, intimate, and compelling memoir of his friendship with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. For almost thirty years, Antonin Scalia was arguably the most influential and controversial Justice on the United States Supreme Court. His dynamic and witty writing devoted to the Constitution has influenced an entire generation of judges. Based on his reputation for using scathing language to criticize liberal court decisions, many people presumed Scalia to be gruff and irascible. But to those who knew him as “Nino,” he was characterized by his warmth, charm, devotion, fierce intelligence, and loyalty. Bryan Garner’s friendship with Justice Scalia was instigated by celebrated writer David Foster Wallace and strengthened over their shared love of language. Despite their differing viewpoints on everything from gun control to the use of contractions, their literary and personal relationship flourished. Justice Scalia even officiated at Garner’s wedding. In this humorous, touching, and surprisingly action-packed memoir, Garner gives a firsthand insight into the mind, habits, and faith of one of the most famous and misunderstood judges in the world.

Legal Writing in Plain English

A Text with Exercises

Author: Bryan A. Garner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226284182

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 227

View: 2349

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Admirably clear, concise, down-to-earth, and powerful-unfortunately, these adjectives rarely describe legal writing, whether in the form of briefs, opinions, contracts, or statutes. In Legal Writing in Plain English, Bryan A. Garner provides lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. The book encourages legal writers to challenge conventions and offers valuable insights into the writing process: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills. In essence, it teaches straight thinking—a skill inseparable from good writing. Replete with common sense and wit, the book draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through more than a decade of teaching in the field. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting. Meanwhile, Garner explores important aspects of document design. Basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section reinforce the book's principles. (An answer key to basic exercises is included in the book; answers to intermediate and advanced exercises are provided in a separate Instructor's Manual, free of charge to instructors.) Appendixes include a comprehensive punctuation guide with advice and examples, and four model documents. Today more than ever before, legal professionals cannot afford to ignore the trend toward clear language shorn of jargon. Clients demand it, and courts reward it. Despite the age-old tradition of poor writing in law, Legal Writing in Plain English shows how legal writers can unshackle themselves. Legal Writing in Plain English includes: *Tips on generating thoughts, organizing them, and creating outlines. *Sound advice on expressing your ideas clearly and powerfully. *Dozens of real-life writing examples to illustrate writing problems and solutions. *Exercises to reinforce principles of good writing (also available on the Internet). *Helpful guidance on page layout. *A punctuation guide that shows the correct uses of every punctuation mark. *Model legal documents that demonstrate the power of plain English.

Point Made

How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates

Author: Ross Guberman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199943850

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 7151

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In Point Made, Ross Guberman uses the work of great advocates as the basis of a valuable, step-by-step brief-writing and motion-writing strategy for practitioners. The author takes an empirical approach, drawing heavily on the writings of the nation's 50 most influential lawyers.

The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Author: Sujit Choudhry,Madhav Khosla,Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191058629

Category: Law

Page: 1050

View: 6445

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The Indian Constitution is one of the world's longest and most important political texts. Its birth, over six decades ago, signalled the arrival of the first major post-colonial constitution and the world's largest and arguably most daring democratic experiment. Apart from greater domestic focus on the Constitution and the institutional role of the Supreme Court within India's democratic framework, recent years have also witnessed enormous comparative interest in India's constitutional experiment. The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution is a wide-ranging, analytical reflection on the major themes and debates that surround India's Constitution. The Handbook provides a comprehensive account of the developments and doctrinal features of India's Constitution, as well as articulating frameworks and methodological approaches through which studies of Indian constitutionalism, and constitutionalism more generally, might proceed. Its contributions range from rigorous, legal studies of provisions within the text to reflections upon historical trends and social practices. As such the Handbook is an essential reference point not merely for Indian and comparative constitutional scholars, but for students of Indian democracy more generally.

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)

A True Story of the Fight for Justice

Author: Bryan A. Stevenson

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 0525580050

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 288

View: 4134

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In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestselling Just Mercy, which the New York Times calls "as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so," Bryan Stevenson delves deep into the broken U.S. justice system, detailing from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America's most rejected and marginalized people. In this very personal work--proceeds of which will go to charity--Bryan Stevenson recounts many and varied stories of his work as a lawyer in the U.S. criminal justice system on behalf of those in society who have experienced some type of discrimination and/or have been wrongly accused of a crime and who deserve a powerful advocate and due justice under the law. Through the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization Stevenson founded as a young lawyer and for which he currently serves as Executive Director, this important work continues. EJI strives to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. "A deeply moving collage of true stories . . . .This is required reading." --Kirkus, Starred Review Praise for Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption: "Important and compelling." --Pulitzer Prize-winning author TRACY KIDDER "Gripping. . . . What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation." --DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate "An inspiring and powerful story." --#1 New York Times bestselling author JOHN GRISHAM