Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2010

Abstract

Most modern legal writing texts and style manuals recommend that writers use gender-neutral language. Gender-neutral language is achieved by avoiding the use of “gendered generics” (male or female nouns and pronouns used to refer to both men and women). For example, gender neutrality could be achieved by referring to “Members of Congress,” rather than “Congressmen,” and by changing a few words in the previous quotation from Melendez-Diaz:

“The defendant always has [the] burden of raising a Confrontation Clause objection; statutes simply govern the time within which the [defendant] must do so.”

As this article demonstrates, most members of the United States Supreme Court still use male-gendered generics regularly. This practice freezes the Court in the non-inclusive and imprecise writing style of Marbury and Lochner and perpetuates a style of communication that no longer suits the needs of modern practice.

Share

COinS