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Scalia Skips the Footnotes

When I was a law student, a professor shared with me what I took to be valuable advice. To really get at the meaning of a Supreme Court opinion, he said, focus on the footnotes. I took that to heart, searching for hidden meaning in the fine print of high court jurisprudence. Imagine my shock, then, to learn from Paul L. Caron at TaxProf Blog that Justice Antonin Scalia does not read footnotes.

Caron's intelligence comes by way of the transcript of the oral argument in Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler, Inc. Therein may be found this exchange between lawyer Peter D. Enrich and Scalia:

Mr. Enrich:  In a footnote in Flast, the court specifically says, "Having now decided that there's Establishment Clause standing, we can also reach the free-exercise question without discussing whether there would be independent standing."

Justice Scalia:  I had not recollected that footnote. I will -- I will find it. I don't read footnotes, normally.

So much for what I learned in law school.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on March 20, 2006 at 02:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


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