Professor Leora Harpaz

The Supreme Court

Fall, 2006

Readings on Opinion Writing

Required Reading:

(1) As a sample Supreme Court opinion to use in discussion, please read the opinion in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).


(2) Erwin Chemerinsky, The Rhetoric of Constitutional Law, 100 Mich. L. Rev. 2008 (2002) (I am particularly interested in having you read Sections I. A., I. B., I. C. and I. D of this article.)

(3)Nancy A. Wanderer, Writing Better Opinions: Communicating with Candor, Clarity, and Style, 54 Me. L. Rev. 47 (2000) (While the article is written about judicial opinions in general and not the opinions of the United States Supreme Court, much of what it suggests will be helpful in working on the opinion assignment.)

Sample Student Opinion Assignment:

Sample Opinion

Optional Reading:

I have placed on course reserve under my name in the law library, the following three manuals about the writing of a judicial opinion:

(1) Joyce G. George, Judicial Opinion Writing Handbook, Fourth Edition - KF250.G46 2000

(2) Federal Judicial Center, Judicial Writing Manual - KF250.J83 1991

(3) ABA Judicial Administration Division, Judicial Opinion Writing Manual - KF250.J85 1991