As perhaps the most famous dissenter, Justice Scalia knows how to craft a barb. And he’s not alone. The Columbus Dispatch describes the “pointed language” of dissents written by justices of the Ohio Supreme Court. The Dispatch reports, for example: “In June, [Justice] Pfeifer took issue with a majority opinion that relied on a statute containing a 307-word sentence by writing a one-sentence dissent: 300-plus words to lampoon the ‘24 lines of unrelenting abstruseness.’”
Vociferous dissents may be fun to read, but how useful are they? Here are a few resources for exploring this type of judicial opinion:
Justice Ginsberg offers her views on The Role of Dissenting Opinions in a lecture published by the Minnesota Law Review.
PBS offers discussion of several “famous dissents,” including dissenting opinions in Korematsu and Dred Scott.
Check out some of our titles, like Scalia Dissents and Foreshadows of the Law: Supreme Court Dissents and Constitutional Development.