The Lexicon Remains a Fortress: An Update

Green Bag, Vol. 5, No. 51, 2001

19 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2006


The articles examine the use of dictionaries by the United States Supreme Court and in appendices they list (1) every term ever defined by a dictionary in a Supreme Court opinion; (2) every case where a Supreme Court Justice has used a dictionary in an opinion; and (3) every dictionary used by a Supreme Court Justice.

This update evaluates the Supreme Court Justices continued use of dictionaries, noting that while they still rely upon dictionaries to a great degree, there are signs that the Justices might be becoming more concerned about the broad use of dictionaries in court opinions.

Keywords: dictionary, dictionaries, supreme court, lexicon

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Thumma, Samuel and Kirchmeier, Jeffrey L., The Lexicon Remains a Fortress: An Update. Green Bag, Vol. 5, No. 51, 2001. Available at SSRN:

Samuel Thumma

Perkins Coie ( email )

2901 N. Central Avenue
Suite 2000
Phoenix, AZ 85012-2788
United States

Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier (Contact Author)

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

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