Ann Althouse praised John Roberts yesterday regarding FAIR v. Rumsfeld, the Solomon Amendment case:
I want to express my deepest thanks to Chief Justice Roberts for gathering the Justices onto one clearly written opinion. There is no blather or hedging in the prose. He has obviously taken great pains to put every sentence in plain English. He deals with all the precedents, handling most of the cases in one or two crisp sentences. You may not appreciate how beautiful this thinking and writing is, but I do, and I think generations of law students will.
One might similarly praise the plain English of Bankruptcy Judge Leif Clark, who recently shot down “for being incomprehensible” a “Motion to Discharge Response to Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Response Opposing Objection to Discharge.” Clark added a footnote:
Or, in the words of the competition judge to Adam Sandler’s title character in the movie, “Billy Madison,” after Billy Madison had responded to a question with an answer that sounded superficially reasonable but lacked any substance,
Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Deciphering motions like the one presented here wastes valuable chamber staff time, and invites this sort of footnote.
Clearly written, no hedging!