Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Supreme Court's Invisible Red Pen

Supreme Court watchers have recently noted errors in opinions by two Justices, errors the Court has corrected.  The Wall Street Journal reported that Justice Scalia mischaracterized a prior case. And the Washington Times reported that Justice Kagan made a historical error.

These individual mistakes and the subsequent changes may seem minor -- they do not necessarily impact the outcome of the cases.  But it appears, as the New York Times reports, that the Supreme Court often edits opinions -- not always announcing these changes.  This New York Times interactive graphic illustrates several edits.

A new task for the legal researcher:  look for alternative versions of SCOTUS opinions!