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56 Wake Forest L Rev. 321 (2021)


This paper examines the oral dissents of Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the year 2000 to the times of their respective deaths. It explores the concept and purpose of oral dissent and details the kinds of cases in which each justice was more likely to orally dissent. The paper analyzes the kinds of rhetoric that each justice used to refer to their subject matter, and argues that Scalia's rhetoric evinces a view of the law as "autonomous", operating independently of the facts of the case. In contrast, Ginsburg's view espouses a view of the law as responsive to the need for social change. Ginsburg's oral dissents thus often came in cases involving discrimination.



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