As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we depend almost entirely on donations from people like you.
We really need your help to continue this work! Please consider making a donation.
Subscribe here and join over 13,000 subscribers to our free weekly newsletter

Final Word on U.S. Law Isnt: Supreme Court Keeps Editing
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, May 25, 2014
Posted: June 23rd, 2014

The Supreme Court has been quietly revising its decisions years after they were issued, altering the law of the land without public notice. The revisions include truly substantive changes in factual statements and legal reasoning, said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard and the author of a new study examining the phenomenon. The courts secretive editing process has led judges and law professors astray, causing them to rely on passages that were later scrubbed from the official record. The widening public access to online versions of the courts decisions, some of which do not reflect the final wording, has made the longstanding problem more pronounced. Unannounced changes have not reversed decisions outright, but they have withdrawn conclusions on significant points of law. The larger point, said Jeffrey L. Fisher, a law professor at Stanford, is that Supreme Court decisions are parsed by judges and scholars with exceptional care. In Supreme Court opinions, every word matters, he said. When theyre changing the wording of opinions, theyre basically rewriting the law. The court does warn readers that early versions of its decisions, available at the courthouse and on the courts website, are works in progress. A small-print notice says that this opinion is subject to formal revision before publication, and it asks readers to notify the court of any typographical or other formal errors. But ... the court almost never notes when a change has been made, much less specifies what it was. And many changes do not seem merely typographical or formal.

Note: Read about a new app which tracks these changes. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Latest News

Key News Articles from Years Past