There is a very good, if a little star-struck, article in the NYT about Justice Stevens, who is apparently gotten riled enough, sitting on a packed court at 87, to speak a bit more freely to the press. He also has some astute things to say about writing:
Since Stevens joined the court, he has also been the only justice routinely to write the first drafts of his own opinions â€” the other justices have generally relied on clerks to write their first drafts and then rewritten (or at least edited) the drafts to various degrees. â€œSometimes the draft is pretty short,â€ Stevens told me, â€œbut at least I write enough so that Iâ€™ve had a chance to think it through.â€ Stevens said writing a first draft was â€œterribly importantâ€ because â€œyou often donâ€™t understand a case until youâ€™ve tried to write it out.â€
Amen to that. I’m in a workaholic mood today, which is good, because the last week has not been that productive, but I thought I’d share an englightening piece.