Ambiguity: Further reply to Posner
I suspect that Judge Posner makes it a question of candor because he himself has so little use for arguments about semantics (so it would show a lack of candor for him to make them). But I think many other judges have not yet arrived at his conclusions, and that they take conventional legal arguments, including arguments about semantics, more seriously -- even if, as we mean to show, those arguments often end up carrying the water for policy preferences after all.
We do suggest a way to make judgments about language that are less likely to be infected by policy preferences. If nobody cares about doing that, and all the talk to the contrary in judicial opinions is a smoke screen, then this part of our study, like much other legal scholarship, would indeed be a waste of time. But we think some judges still like the idea of doing it. Judge Easterbrook says he is among them; perhaps Judge Posner isn't. That's an interesting dispute (if it really is a dispute), but our project is not meant to try to settle it.