Skip to main content
Justice Scalia and the Art of Rhetoric
Constitutional Commentary (2012)
  • Jeffrey M. Shaman
This essay offers something different from the usual law review article: an examination of Justice Scalia's judicial opinions from a literary perspective rather than a legal one. The essay demonstrates that Justice Scalia is a master of metaphor and other belletristic flourishes. Focusing on the style rather than the substance of his writing, the essay uses examples from various Scalia opinions to illustrate that he wields a wicked poison pen, peppers his opinions with creative lists of examples, and is wont to drop in a bon mot here and there, not to mention an arcane foreign phrase that send lesser mortals rushing to their Latin, French, or German dictionaries. Along the way, the essay reveals some fascinating information about the tropes and allusions that Justice Scalia uses. Between the lines, the essay offers criticism of Scalia's judicial philosophy.
  • Constitutional Law,
  • Justice Scalia,
  • Law and Literature
Publication Date
Fall 2012
Citation Information
Jeffrey M. Shaman. "Justice Scalia and the Art of Rhetoric" Constitutional Commentary Vol. 28 Iss. 2 (2012)
Available at: