, 16 tweets, 6 min read
Here is a social experiment.

Will I be reported to @Twitter for using offensive and demeaning language if I use -- correctly -- the word "#niggardly" -- in a sentence?

The Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the tax assessor's approach as a niggardly construction of the statute.
I've been reviewing decisions of the #HawaiiSupremeCourt on the question of whether #nonprofits were properly charged a #generalexcise #tax under Hawaiian law for various activities and operations that produced #income to the organization.
Courts begin (and end) their principal analysis of such issues by examining an underlying tax law, code, rule, or regulation.
In the cases I reviewed, a question arose whether one interpretation governed, resulting in a transaction being #taxable (thus providing revenue to the State) or #nontaxable (thus providing nontaxable income to the organization).
The Hawaii Supreme Court characterized the reading of the statutes made by the taxing authority as "niggardly."

I chuckled.
From 1988 through 2012, along with one or two other attorneys, I wrote @JaySekulow's legal briefs in #federal #appellate cases and in cases before #SCOTUS.
For example, after I obtained a victory before a three-judge federal district court in a case challenging a ban on federal campaign contributions by persons less than 18 years of age.
My case, Emily Echols, et al. v. Federal Election Commission, was one of a dozen or so cases consolidated as McConnell v. FEC. While most of the challenges to various parts of #BCRA failed, my challenge to Section 318 was successful.
The FEC appealed their loss to #SCOTUS.

I wrote the brief on which Jay then made the oral argument.
So, yes, I wrote Jay's briefs (as did Walter Weber, an outstanding writer, and attorney).
I carried my own litigation practice as well, representing #prolife #activists, #streetpreachers, #publicschoolstudents, etc., regarding the exercise of rights of free expression and religious freedom.

And we co-represented many clients in cases involving such questions.
In those cases, almost exclusively, I carried principal responsibility for providing legal theories on which our cases relied, developing legal research in the defense thereof, and drafting legal arguments in pleadings and briefs at trial courts, appellate courts, and #SCOTUS.
And it was in one of those cases that I got a telephone call. Jay lived and practiced law from Atlanta at the time. I had opened our offices in Washington, DC. He had reviewed a brief I planned on filing and had one principal edit that he insisted, demanded, be made.
"Take out that word, it's offensive!"

"What word, @JaySekulow?"
"Niggardly! It's racially offensive and insensitive."

"Jay, it's completely unrelated to race. It has a completely different origin, it's the best word for curtly describing conduct that is parsimonious or stingy in character."
"I don't care. Change it. We don't need to offend the Court."

So, yes, I changed it. Not because changing it was a good idea, nor because I thought any court before which we were practicing was so stupid as to miscomprehend the word or its usage.
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