Judges and dictionaries/Vertrauen in das Wörterbuch

Is it possible to explain to judges that dictionaries are not definitive proof of usage? Geoffrey Nunberg has written on this topic before, giving examples of how the U.S. Supreme Court uses dictionaries (dictionaries have been used by the Court more since 1990 than in the previous 200 years).

In one 1993 case, the Supreme Court ruled that a man who traded a rifle for some cocaine could be sentenced under a statute that provided for an increased penalty for someone who uses a firearm to obtain narcotics. Writing for the majority, Justice O’Connor justified the decision by citing one dictionary’s definition of use as “to employ.” To his credit, Justice Scalia dissented, following a rule of interpretation that you could paraphrase as “give me a break, please ...

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