Justice Scalia and the Art of Rhetoric
28 Constitutional Commentary 287 (Fall 2012)
4 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2011 Last revised: 5 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 23, 2011
This article examines Justice Scalia's judicial opinions from a literary perspective rather than a legal one to demonstrate that he is a master of metaphor and other belletristic flourishes. Focusing on the style rather than the substance of his writing, the article uses examples from various Scalia opinions to illustrate that he wields a wicked poison pen, peppers his opinions with creative lists of examples, and is wont to drop in a bon mot here and there, not to mention an arcane foreign phrase that sends lesser mortals rushing to their Latin, French, or German dictionaries. Along the way, the article reveals some fascinating information about the tropes and allusions that Justice Scalia uses. And between the lines, the article offers criticism of Scalia's conservative philosophy.
Keywords: Justice Scalia, Supreme Court, Constitutional Law, Literary Criticism
JEL Classification: K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation