Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Judge Posner on trusting an author

Perhaps the harshest moment in his review of the recent book by Justice Scalia and Prof. Bryan Garner:
Scalia and Garner ridicule a decision by the Supreme Court of Kansas (State ex rel. Miller v. Claiborne) that held that cockfighting did not violate the state’s law against cruelty to animals. They say that the court, in defiance of the dictionary, “perversely held that roosters are not ‘animals.’” When I read this, I found it hard to believe that a court would hold that roosters are not animals, so I looked up the case. I discovered that the court had not held that roosters are not animals. It was then that I started reading the other cases cited by Scalia and Garner.
It's never a good idea to lose the trust of your audience, especially a federal judge.

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