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Roberts, Kagan win awards for crafty use of the pen

We all know that Chief Justice John G. Roberts sometimes likes to have a little fun when he writes opinions. Now, his writing has earned him an award from the popular quarterly journal The Green Bag.

As The BLT’s Tony Mauro reports, Roberts and Justice Elena Kagan both won legal writing awards from the publication.

Roberts was recognized for his opinion in FCC v. AT&T, in which he declined to hold that corporations had protection for “personal privacy” under the Freedom of Information Act.

Just because the definition of “person” includes corporations under federal law, Roberts wrote, that doesn’t mean they are covered when the adjective “personal” is used. To drive the point home, Roberts cited a host of adjectives that have nothing to do with the root word, such as crab and crabbed, corn and corny, and crank and cranky. Roberts then brings it home with a kicker: “We trust that AT&T will not take it personally.”

Kagan was cited for her dissent in the case Ariz.Christian School Tuition Org. v. Winn.

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