The curmudgeon

One of my Christmas presents from my mother is Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, the latest collaboration between Justice Antonin Scalia and lawyer, writer and grammarian, Bryan A. Garner (it is "collaboration between" isn't it?).

I highly recommend Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, which is about so much more than persuading judges.  I also recommend Scalia's A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law.

But on to my point:  Bryan A. Garner speaks about Scalia's curmudgeonliness here:

"Scalia's friend traced the roots of that curmudgeonly attitude to the justice's frustration with the erosion of old-fashioned etiquette.

'If you think that certain standards of behavior are good and important ... when people fall below these standards, it's disappointing,' Garner said. 'Not in an officious way, but you wish it were otherwise.'"

Another great article on Scalia and Garner at The New Yorker.

A taste:

"The intensity of their collaboration took an uneven toll on the writers. 'In 2008, before we went to press, I suggested that we should do a second book together, on textualism. I wanted to write something that would be a better guide to judges and to lawyers than we had on the market. And, after we finished the book, the first book, Justice Scalia said no way. ‘No way. I’m sick of this. I’m sick of writing. I hate writing,’' Garner said. But he hadn’t just completed a book subtitled “The Art of Persuading Judges” without learning a few tricks. 'So I said, ‘Well, all right. I think it needs to be done. And the shame is, now it’ll never be done, because you know more about this subject than anyone else alive.’ He said, you know, ‘Life is short, and I don’t have time for this.’ I said, ‘Well, all right.’ About six months later, I get a phone call from him, and he said, ‘You know, Bryan? I miss you,’' Garner recalled with a laugh. 'I said, ‘Well, I miss you, too, Nino. You know, there’s a cure for that. Let’s start the second book.’'"


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