Asses and Idiots and Dickens, Oh, My! @TheNLJ

Marcia Coyle examines the uses of Dickensian quotes in legal opinions in this piece for The National Law Journal, pointing out that Justice Alito's insertion of the phrase "the last is a ass–a idiot in the recently decided Collins v. Virginia is the latest appearance in a series that includes Justice Brennan's use in In re Sawyer, and Justice Stevens' in Califano v. Goldfano. Now Justice Ginsburg argued that case before the Court, by the way.The phrase is a popular one with the judiciary. I'll cite just two other cases. See Judge Brorby, in dissent in Guidry v. Sheet Metal Workers Nat'l Pension Fund (10th Circuit) (he also cites Sam Ervin, "The rain it raineth on the just/And also on the unjust fella:/But chiefly on the just, because/The unjust steals the just's umbrella." And see Stone v. Essex County Newspapers, Inc (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court).  The question thus arises whether the burden…

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