Thanks, pravnik. I’ll hold my breath waiting for that nomination. I’ll be the first escaped lab rat judge – the sympathy vote will get me through confirmation hearings faster than shit through a prehensile rectum. [Link not provided as public service to those with quick mouse fingers and weak stomachs from some serious TMI.]
Rehnquist has publicly acknowledged that his clerks write the first draft for all of his opinions – despite the fact that in the 50s he wrote an article for Time or Life or something like that decrying the influence the clerks have on opinions. Maybe that’s why they’re bland.
Other than Souter and Breyer – both of whom sometimes I suspect can’t write their way out of a wet paper bag – I think I’d nominate per curiam for the worst writer. Ever see what that lunatic wrote in Buckley v. Valeo? Weighing in with 178 footnotes, it beats out Frankfurter’s 143-note separate opinion in McGowan v. Maryland for most footnotes ever. Plus, it totally sucked. Worst. Opinion. Ever.
As far as current justices with a distinct lack of style, how about Ginsburg? She inflicted the following two sins upon the United States reports: Norfolk Southern Ry. v. Shanklin, 529 U.S. 344, 361 (2000) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (dissenting from opinion holding that Federal Highway Administration approval of a railroad crossing pre-empts application of state law, Justice Ginsburg noted that “the road is open for the Secretary of Transportation to enact regulations clarifying that point”); Bennis v. Michigan, 516 U.S. 442, 458 (1996) (Ginsburg, J., concurring) (writing that in enacting law providing for forfeiture of vehicles used by persons soliciting prostitutes, “Michigan has decided to deter johns from using cars they own … to contribute to neighborhood blight,” a play on the fact that the petitioner’s husband – who had lost her car by cruising for prostitutes in it – was named John). I hope to God it’s her clerks that are responsible for these little gems. If it’s her, oh man… sort of contradicts her famous intellect, no?