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July 2021

The Scrivener: An ‘A-Day’ for Articles

By Elizabeth Scott Moïse

SC Lawyer

At one level, today’s dispute may seem semantic, focused on a single word, a small word at that. But words are how the law constrains power. – United States Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch


An article caused a ruckus in the Supreme Court recently. No, this was not an article in the U.S. Constitution, or a written piece in a publication, or even an article of incorporation. It was a part of speech, the kind you learned about in English class. Specifically, the article “a” caused a commotion between the majority and dissenting justices and a thorough scholarly study of a one-letter work. As Justice Gorsuch noted, “a lot here turns on a small word.”

Reprinted with permission.