The Role Of Dictionaries In Last Term's High Court Decisions

Law360 (July 12, 2019, 2:32 PM EDT) -- Of the 67 decisions from cases argued before the U.S. Supreme Court last term, 32 cite dictionaries. Since the justices look at dictionaries more often than most of us, it’s worth reviewing their opinions to learn which dictionaries the justices consult and how they use them. Given the court’s reliance on old dictionaries, it’s also worth noting that the Supreme Court is next door to the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world.

The Dictionaries: Black’s, OED and Webster’s Third

Counting majority opinions, concurrences and dissents separately, 45 opinions cite dictionaries — 33 opinions construe a statute, seven construe...

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