Dogmatic dialogue

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This chapter examines an exchange that occurred among judges in one state supreme court through the texts that announced the court decision regarding the constitutionality of the state’s marriage law prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. After describing the problem that appellate judges face when their Court makes a non-unanimous decision, providing background on U.S. society’s dispute about same-sex marriage, and overviewing the Andersen v. King County (2006) case, I describe a set of dogmatic-dialogic strategies that the justices used to represent the voices of their disagreeing colleagues. In the paper’s conclusion I argue why a dialogic-dogmatic style is a desirable, well-fitted response to the dilemma that judicial opinion-writers face.


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