Green Bag Announces Exemplary Legal Writing Honorees

ARLINGTON, VA — The Green Bag, a quarterly journal dedicated to good writing about the law housed at George Mason University School of Law, announced today its 2006 honorees for Exemplary Legal Writing. The awards, now in their second year, are selected by the journal's esteemed board of advisers, which includes members of the state and federal judiciary, the news media, private law firms and academia. The honored works will be republished in the forthcoming Green Bag Almanac & Reader 2007.      

"The Green Bag exists in large part to promote entertaining, useful and high-quality legal writing of all shapes and sizes," said Ross Davies, the journal's editor-in-chief.  "Recognizing exemplary legal writing is a natural extension of that function which we hope will engender even more good legal writing."

Notable among the honorees is Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who was recognized for his opinion in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, which was his first constitutional opinion. Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals Judith Kaye, former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, and Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh are also among those honored. In total, 24 works were recognized in six categories: judicial opinions, books, short articles, long articles, briefs and motions, and miscellany.  A complete list of honorees is attached. 

Nominees for Exemplary Legal Writing 2006 honors were submitted to the Green Bag throughout the selection cycle (October 31, 2005 through October 31, 2006) by the board of advisers. These texts were then compiled, categorized and distributed en masse to the board for review and balloting.     

 About the Green Bag

Originally published from 1889-1914, the tradition of the Green Bag was revived in 1997 when publication of the journal's second series commenced. The journal seeks to create a forum for useful and entertaining legal writing, and bridge the gap in legal publishing between news reporting and large-scale works of legal scholarship. For more information, please visit

About George Mason School of Law

Founded in 1979, Mason is the youngest law school recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 50 law schools in the United States. Its faculty boasts many former government officials, a Nobel Prize winner and a number of the country's leading scholars. Mason's innovative and demanding curriculum is known for its emphasis on the economic analysis of law. For more information, please visit

Complete list of Green Bag Exemplary Legal Writing 2006 Honorees

Judicial Opinions

Jay S. Bybee, Amalgamated Transit Union v. Laidlaw Transit Servs., 448 F.3d 1092 (9th Cir. 2006)

Alex Kozinski, Jespersen v. Harrah's, 444 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 2006) 

Richard Posner, Cecaj v. Gonzales, 440 F.3d 897 (7th Cir. 2006)

John G. Roberts, Jr., Rumsfeld v. FAIR, 126 S. Ct. 1297 (2006)

Ronald A. White, Green v. Bd. Of Comm'rs, 450 F. Supp.2d 1273 (E.D. Okla. 2006)

William G. Young, U.S. v. Kandirakis, 441 F.Supp.2d 282 (D. Mass. 2006)


Bruce Ackerman, The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshal and the Rise of Presidential Democracy (Belknap 2005)

Jack Goldsmith & Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet: Illusions of a Borderless World (Oxford 2006)

Geoffrey Robertson, The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold (Pantheon 2006; Chatto & Windus 2005)

Benjamin Wittes, Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times (Rowman & Littlefield 2006)

Short Articles

Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Smackdown!, N.Y. Times, March 12, 2006

Duncan MacDonald, The Story of a Famous Promissory Note, 10 Scribes J.L. Writing 79 (2006)

Jeffrey Rosen, Judicial Exposure, N.Y. Times, Jan. 29, 2006

Jonathan M. Starble, Gimme an 'S': The High Court's Grammatical Divide, Legal Times, Oct. 9, 2006

Stuart Taylor, Jr., Something's Rotten at Duke, Nat'l. J., May 29, 2006

Diane P. Wood, Original Intent versus Evolution: The Legal-Writing Edition, The Scrivener, Summer 2005

Long Articles

Harold Hongju Koh, Can the President Be Torturer in Chief?, 81 Indiana L.J. 1145 (2006)

Pierre N. Leval, Judging Under the Constitution: Dicta About Dicta, 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1249 (2006)

J. Harvie Wilkinson III, The Rehnquist Court at Twilight: The Lures and Perils of Split-the-Difference Jurisprudence, 58 Stan. L. Rev. 1969 (2006)

Briefs and Motions

Aaron M. Panner et al., Amicus Brief in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

Seth P. Waxman et. al., Amicus Brief in Smith v. Texas


Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Restyled Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Judith S. Kaye, The Best Oral Argument I (N)ever Made, 7 J. App. Prac. & Process 191 (2005)

Mark L. Movsesian, Samuel Williston: Brief Life of a Resilient Legal Scholar, Harv. Mag. (Jan-Feb. 2006)