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April 06, 2016


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Please parse the opinions of the judges on the court who you believe always vote the way you believe they should vote.

Of course, any such belief would be based on pretense, deception, or insincerity, because no judge is wholly and always a "reliable" partisan (as you appear to be).

Steve, you seem so hopelessly bound by your notions of "sides" and the need to ridicule and levy constant, trivial attacks on isolated quotes (here, one word) to try to marginalize your "enemies."

So emblematic of the plague of hostility and partisanship that is overcoming this nation.

The only way to stop it is to stop throwing low blows and grow up. The word Alito used is no stronger and no more inappropriate than many words uttered by the judges you believe are on your side that could be isolated and attacked.

Can't you see fault in those humans you believe to be your political allies? What is the point of this post? What is the sinister implication you invite others to draw?

THis is ridiculous. Pure bunk.


"Mr. Justice BLACKMUN, with whom Mr. Justice DOUGLAS and Mr. Justice BRENNAN join, dissenting.

Today the Court graves into stone Birnbaum's arbitrary principle of standing. For this task the Court, unfortunately, chooses to utilize three blunt chisels: ... (3) resort to utter pragmaticality and a conjectural assertion of ‘policy considerations' deemed to arise in distinguishing the meritorious Rule 10b-5 suit from the meretricious one."

Gee, I guess Justices Blackmun, Brennan and Douglas were calling the litigants whores.

I leave the full implications to others.

Law Prof

Meretricious is an unusual word for characterizing a weak analogy. I would use meretricious to imply that a claim is self-serving and trashy, such as taking a cheap shot.


What an incredibly petty post. I expect better of this blog.

Just Another Practicing Attorney

I think you are overstating the overtones of prostitution/tawdriness. "Meretrix" is the Latin word for a prostitute, so earlier usage of the word probably inclined further in that direction. But the current usage I hear almost always relies on one of the more benign definitions. I don't know how MW ranks words (or which edition of the dictionary supplies the online content), but I don't think many people will read what Justice Alito wrote and conclude, as you did, that "at worst he seems to call them prostitutes."


Actually, Lubet doesn't even accurately report what the MW results show. The "simple definition" of the term "meretricious" according to MW online is: "attractive in a cheap or false way."

This is just another cheap shot at someone Lubet wants to demean for purely political reasons. The merits are meaningless. Would he attack Blackmun and Brennan, in the same way? One thinks not.

As I read Lubet's posts here, I am beginning to question the validity of his work on AG. He had a few tidbits of seemingly valid criticism (e.g. his ad nauseam harping on the "checking for warrants in the hospital" issue) and, for a while, I was convinced that, although his points were mainly and typically picayune, he was on to something at least.

However, as I read the nature of the frivolous and trivial attacks Steve levels on such a wide variety of subjects, in most instances on purely partisan grounds, and in many instances based on premises that are demonstrably wrong (e.g., in just the past couple of days, the objective of the game of poker and here, the popular definition of a word as reported on a website) I am beginning to question my earlier agreement with him (in the main) on the AG issue.

Sad, this, because I don't know Steve, and have no reason to believe he is not a good man. I am just a reader here, and eager to see if the law academy can up its game.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Professor Lubet is correct here. I am not the brightest bulb in the elevator, so when the K-Mart (your savings place) closed, I purchased 5 soft cover dictionaries at two dollars per to thrown around the office/home/men's room. I have a hard time with big words. To most trial court judges and me, Meritricious is a big big word. So, I put my two dollar investment to work and low and behold.....There it is in Black and White. "Ho" "Prostitute." The third definition is "specious." Specious reasoning is an argument that is seemingly correct, but not necessarily so. (Merriam Webster Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Collegiate 2004)

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

When President Clinton noted it all depends on what the definition of the word "is is" he was thinking and acting as an attorney. Like it or not, that is what we do. We parse and dissect language. One of my law professors told us that he would teach us "how to read." The law is language. Professor Lubet is teaching in a time honored fashion here and embodies and models what a teacher does.


AnonProf wins the thread. Spot on comment.

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