Thursday, March 11, 2021

Say "please" & "thank you" has Marcia Coyle's When Rulings, Respectfully, Offer Peek Behind Curtains at Court Collegiality -- A missing "respectfully" or "with respect" can connote particularly strong feelings.

Judges and justices take strides to show their benches are collegial and the dialogue civil. New rulings at times offer a peek behind the curtains at the relationships of judges and the importance of the appearance of collegiality. With or without respect, the language of judges can make their positions crystal clear to the world.

Just last week, some observers questioned why Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting from an opinion by Justice Amy Coney Barrett—her first majority ruling since joining the bench—did not say he “respectfully” or “with respect” dissented. He used the more terse “I dissent.” Days later, the Breyer dissent was amended to say “with respect, I dissent.”