Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bad writing

In my line of work, I sometimes (thankfully, not too often) find myself forced to read U.S. Supreme Court opinions. I'm doing so now, and I just have to say that Ginsburg is a terrible writer (or her law clerk is). I'm not talking about legal reasoning; I'm talking about writing style. Her writing is turgid, filled with cant, and basically just has a leaden feel to it. One sentence will illustrate: "Rooker was a suit commenced in Federal District Court to have a judgment of a state court, adverse to the federal court plaintiffs, 'declared null and void.'" Blech! How about: "The Rooker plaintiffs, having already lost in state court, asked the Federal District Court to enter a judgment holding the state court judgment 'null and void.'" Given time, I could do even better (fewer words), but I still think this outshines Ginsburg's horrible prose.