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Corrected: An assistant to the solicitor basic had a option to make when Justice Elena Kagan referred to the antecedent clause of a statute.

Kagan pronounced the phrase “an-TESS-a-dent,” mystifying spectators within the courtroom, (sub. req.) reviews.

Regent College College of Legislation professor James Duane was there to watch the arguments along with his college students. “It sounded just like the justice was mentioning some relative named Aunt Tessa Dent,” he wrote in a recent law review article that didn’t establish the justice. (He wished to keep away from “gratuitous embarrassment,” he defined).

“The pronunciation was so unconventional,” Duane wrote, “that I couldn’t have been the one one within the courtroom who wanted to listen to the phrase two or thrice earlier than having any thought what the justice was making an attempt to say.”

The bizarre pronunciation raised a dilemma for attorneys at oral arguments, Duane mentioned. Ought to attorneys mimic a justice’s pronunciation or go for the extra standard pronunciation?

Ann O’Connell, an assistant to the solicitor basic, opted for the latter, saying the phrase “ant-a-SEED-ent,” based on

Duane mentioned he would have repeated the justice’s pronunciation. His article refers to a different instance through which a lawyer at Supreme Court docket arguments determined to imitate a mispronunciation, as recounted by authorized writing professional Bryan Garner, president of LawProse Inc., in a November 2015 article for the ABA Journal.

The case was Daubert v. Merrell Dow Prescribed drugs. Then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist pronounced the litigant’s identify “Dow-bair,” as if it had been a French identify, quite than use the litigant’s pronunciation, “Daw–bert.” The lawyer for the Daubert household used a part of Rehnquist’s pronunciation, referring to the identify Dow-bert,” based on

Final paragraph corrected at 3:50 p.m. on April 14 to mirror change in cited story.


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