Maybe some typist has a sense of humor:

I’m going to be teaching Cohen v. California tomorrow (the case reversing a conviction for wearing a jacket that said “Fuck the Draft”), and I decided to see if Cohen was the earliest iteration of “fuck” in a Supreme Court opinion. (It was.) I then looked up “shit” to see if it appeared earlier in the Supreme Court, according to Westlaw. The answer is yes, but only because of a scrivenor’s error. The Westlaw report of Galveston, H. & S.A. Ry. Co. v. Gonzales, 151 U.S. 496 (1894) contains this doozy of a typo:

“The jurisdiction common to all the circuit courts of the United States in respect to the subject-matter of the suit and the character of the parties who might sustain shits in those courts is described in the section …”

I do not know, of course, whether the typist made this error intentionally. It was probably just an accident, but it’s more amusing to imagine a typist with a sense of humor (or just boredom).

By the way, for those who care: the first case that intentionally included the word “shit” was Eaton v. City of Tulsa, 415 U.S. 697 (1974).

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