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Scalia was correct in his citation of writer's work

July 01, 2006

Re "Thanks for nothing, Nino," Opinion, June 25

Samuel Walker charges that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrongly cited one of Walker's publications in his recent opinion in Hudson vs. Michigan (which held that violation of the knock-and-announce rule does not require exclusion of evidence found in the search). But the careful reader will discern that Walker has no complaint about the specific statement that Scalia attributes to Walker -- namely, that there have been "wide-ranging reforms in the education, training and supervision of police officers." Walker's complaint instead is that Scalia uses that fact as part of a broader argument that Walker doesn't like.

No one -- not even someone wholly unfamiliar with the conventions of citation -- would regard Scalia's lone passing citation of Walker's work as somehow suggesting that Walker was making the same broader argument that Scalia made. Scalia didn't attribute that argument to Walker and didn't "twist" anything. Scalia's citation of Walker's work was entirely correct, and it is Walker who has abused Scalia.

M. EDWARD WHELAN III

Washington

The writer is a former law clerk for Scalia.

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