Thursday, May 23, 2013

Justice Scalia's footnote draws criticism

In City of Arlington v. FCC, Justice Scalia wrote the following footnote to introduce one of the parties, “CTIA-The Wireless Association,”:
“This is not a typographical error. CTIA—The Wireless Association was the name of the petitioner. CTIA is presumably an (unpronounceable) acronym, but even the organization’s website does not say what itstands for. That secret, known only to wireless-service-provider insiders, we will not disclose here.”
 Seems like Scalia is merely reminding lawyers to let the Court know what acronyms stand for.  No big deal and harmless enough. 

But David Post from the Volokh conspiracy is all fired up, calling it "embarrassing," "nonsense," "smarmy," "snarky" and "extraordinarily stupid".  Dude needs to relax:
This is a really embarrassing bit of nonsense — smarmy and snarky and extraordinarily stupid.
First:  0.45 seconds of work reveals that CTIA originally stood for the “Cellular Telephone Industry Association.”  It’s not a big mystery, “known only to wireless-service-provider insiders”: that’s what it says on the organization’s Wikipedia page.  So Scalia’s footnote communicates, to me, that he has never heard of “the Internet” and the very amazing things called “search engines” that let you “retrieve information” very, very quickly
And why that snarky remark about how it’s unpronounceable?  Let’s see ... can Justice Scalia pronounce “FBI”?  (here’s a hint: “eff-bee-eye”).  DHS?    KLM Airlines?
If this were a student paper, I’d circle this and write something like:  “Really bad footnote – why highlight your own cluelessness in the very first footnote.”  From the Supreme Court, it’s really a bit embarrassing.  Reminds me, again, of what Justice Jackson said many years ago:  We’re not final because we’re infallible, we’re infallible because we’re final.

Those poor students.


Rumpole said...

Leave my buddy alone. He tries, bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

such a nino ass kisser


Anonymous said...

Time for Scalia to step down. He's losing it.

Anonymous said...
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Bob Becerra said...

Much ado about nothing.

Anonymous said...

This hysterical clown needs to chill. All Scalia is saying is that the parties nowhere identified what the acronym stood for. Yes, he could go to wikipedia to find out, but judges aren't supposed to conduct (or be required to conduct) research outside the record to determine facts.