Reporting: A Lesson in the Law

In the U.S. Supreme Court last week, a venerable tradition was unexpectedly discarded. As of April 26, announced Chief Justice Earl Warren, the court will no longer hand down all its decisions on Mondays; they will be released when ready—on any day of the week the court is sitting. The court offered no explanation for its action. But to veteran observers it seemed clear that the press was being given a break.

So many complex decisions have come on Mondays that reporters have occasionally been less than accurate. A notorious example was the 1962 school-prayer decision, when much of the...

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