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Supreme Verbosity: The Roberts Court's Expanding Legacy, Mary Margaret Penrose Oct 2018

Supreme Verbosity: The Roberts Court's Expanding Legacy, Mary Margaret Penrose

Faculty Scholarship

The link between courts and the public is the written word. With rare exceptions, it is through judicial opinions that courts communicate with litigants, lawyers, other courts, and the community. Whatever the court’s statutory and constitutional status, the written word, in the end, is the source and the measure of the court’s authority.

It is therefore not enough that a decision be correct—it must also be fair and reasonable and readily understood. The burden of the judicial opinion is to explain and to persuade and to satisfy the world that the decision is principled and sound. What the court says, …