Friday, September 28, 2007

Supreme Court Journalism

A brief note to journalists who write about the Supreme Court. While it is technically true that when the Supreme Court denies certiorari to an appellant, it could be said that the Court has ruled for the other party, using this kind of language is deeply misleading. Denying certiorari simply means that the Court doesn't want to hear the case. It does nothing to address the merits of the case, and it has no precedential value.

And another thing: it's simply bad journalism to write about any decision of the Supreme Court (or any other court, for that matter) and not mention the official name and number of the case. Yes, I know that most people would not bother to go look the decision up. But some of us might.

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