Our Literary Justices

From First Thoughts: “The nine justices on the Supreme Court are a surprisingly literary bunch.”

What do Nabokov, Hemingway, Montesquieu, Wittgenstein, Stendhal, Proust, Shakespeare, Dickens, Faulkner, Solzhenitsyn, and Trollope have in common?  They’re all readily mentioned by Supreme Court Justices when asked about influences on their decisions and their style of writing. There’s no case here to be made about how literature and philosophy are important because they’re the guiding forces behind Supreme Court decisions.  But these interviews show that literature does not merely serve to entertain the Justices: it also has framed their way of looking at the world, and, more importantly, the ways in which they approach composing decisions.

 

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