Logical Transitions Examples—To Show Cause and Effect

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Crystallize your causal connections by following the leads of these legal-writing pros.

  • Case citations have been replaced by “. . .” to shorten these passages and to allow you to digest them more easily.

And so

  1. Example from Justice Scalia: “This Court, like all federal appellate courts, does not review lower courts’ opinions, but their judgments. . . . And so a rule that contravenes this structure, that makes the opinion part of the judgment, is peculiar—especially when it is applied to impose extrajudgment obligations on a sovereign State.”
  2. Example from Justice Kagan: “Congress thus failed to provide anything like the clear statement this Court has demanded before deeming a statute of limitations to curtail a court’s power. And so we wind up back where we started, with Irwin’s ‘general rule’ that equitable tolling is available in suits against the Government.”
  3. Example from Neal Katyal: “This Court’s decisions, after all, speak of ‘the relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation.’ . . . And so just as the defendant’s conduct must cause the contacts in the forum, those contacts must cause the plaintiff’s claim-forming a single chain of causation running from the defendant through the forum to the litigation.”

And therefore

  1. Example from Justice Kagan: “The District Court determined that Padilla ‘did not announce a new rule for Teague purposes,’ and therefore should apply to Chaidez’s case.”
  2. Example from Justice Jackson: “Delaware argues that this Court’s common-law rules of escheatment apply, which means that the abandoned proceeds should go to Delaware as MoneyGram’s State of incorporation. A collective of other States (the Defendant States) argues that a federal statute—the Disposition of Abandoned Money Orders and Traveler’s Checks Act (Federal Disposition Act or FDA) . . .—governs the products at issue, and therefore, as a general matter, the abandoned proceeds should escheat to the State where the products were purchased.”
  3. Example from Kannon Shanmugam: “The government does not dispute, and in fact concedes, that the orders did not comply with the territorial-jurisdiction requirement of Title III. . . . For that reason, the orders at issue here were ‘defect[ive]’ or ‘deficient,’ . . . , and therefore ‘insufficient on [their] face.’”

And thus

  1. Example from Chief Justice Roberts: “Judge Kavanaugh dissented. He agreed that the case was one of first impression, . . . , but argued that ‘the double for-cause removal provisions in the [Act] . . . combine to eliminate any meaningful Presidential control over the [Board],’ . . . . Judge Kavanaugh also argued that Board members are not effectively supervised by the Commission and thus cannot be inferior officers under the Appointments Clause.”
  2. Example from Lisa Blatt: “Jack Daniel’s accordingly sought to enjoin VIP’s sale of Bad Spaniels under the Lanham Act, claiming that the toy likely confused consumers and thus infringed Jack Daniel’s marks and trade dress, . . . , and diluted Jack Daniel’s famous marks by associating them with dog poop and with products that appeal to children, . . . . After a four-day bench trial, the district court agreed.”
  3. Example from Justice Jackson: We hold that the FDA covers the instruments in question and thus that they should generally escheat to the State of purchase, pursuant to §2503.”

As a result

  1. Example from Justice Scalia: “But for purposes of computing outside basis, Woods and McCombs considered only the long component of the spreads and disregarded the nearly offsetting short component on the theory that it was ‘too contingent’ to count. . . . As a result, they claimed a total adjusted outside basis of more than $48 million.”
  2. Example from Justice Kagan: “Puerto Rico boasts ‘a relationship to the United States that has no parallel in our history.’ . . . And since the events of the early 1950’s, an integral aspect of that association has been the Commonwealth’s wide-ranging self-rule, exercised under its own Constitution. As a result of that charter, Puerto Rico today can avail itself of a wide variety of futures.”
  3. Example from Paul Clement: “Such statutes typically, although not exclusively, channel review of the agency action to the appellate courts, presumably on the theory that the administrative record assembled before the agency substitutes for a district-court record. As a result, litigants must typically wait until the agency has taken final action and developed an administrative record before seeking review in the appellate courts.”


  1. Example from Chief Justice Roberts: “The Court distinguished Myers on the ground that Myers concerned ‘an officer [who] is merely one of the units in the executive department and, hence, inherently subject to the exclusive and illimitable power of removal by the Chief Executive, whose subordinate and aid he is.’ . . . By contrast, the Court characterized the FTC as ‘quasi-legislative and quasi- judicial’ rather than ‘purely executive,’ and held that Congress could require it ‘to act . . . independently of executive control.’ . . . Because ‘one who holds his office only during the pleasure of another, cannot be depended upon to maintain an attitude of independence against the latter’s will,’ the Court held that Congress had power to ‘fix the period during which [the Commissioners] shall continue in office, and to forbid their removal except for cause in the meantime.’”
  2. Example from Justice Kagan:Roper and Graham emphasized that the distinctive attributes of youth diminish the penological justifications for imposing the harshest sentences on juvenile offenders, even when they commit terrible crimes. Because ‘[t]he heart of the retribution rationale’ relates to an offender’s blameworthiness, ‘the case for retribution is not as strong with a minor as with an adult.’”
  3. Example from Justice Kavanaugh: “The Griggs principle resolves this case. Because the question on appeal is whether the case belongs in arbitration or instead in the district court, the entire case is essentially ‘involved in the appeal.’”


  1. Example from Justice Kagan: “That object—which SLUSA’s text actually reflects—does not depend on stripping state courts of jurisdiction over 1933 Act class suits, as Cyan proposes. For wherever those suits go forward, the Reform Act’s substantive protections necessarily apply.”
  2. Example from Neal Katyal: “In Walden’s words, the same conduct that ‘create[s] a substantial connection with the forum State’ must also be ‘suit-related .’ . . . Put differently, the same conduct that ‘translate[s] into “contacts” with a particular State’ must also ‘give[] rise to th[e] litigation.’ . . . For specific jurisdiction to exist, therefore, an unbroken chain of causation must unite the defendant, the forum, and the litigation.”
  3. Example from Deepak Gupta: “As President George W. Bush once said, ‘the United States has no more important relationship in the world than the one we have with Mexico’—‘a relationship of unprecedented closeness and cooperation.’ . . . And Sergio’s relationship to this country was closer still, for he was a member of the El Paso-Juarez shared border community—‘one of the largest binational regions in the world, with 2.5 million people.’”

For that reason

  1. Example from Justice Kagan: “It is easy to imagine a judge deciding that a minor deserves a (much) harsher sentence than he would receive in juvenile court, while still not thinking life-without-parole appropriate. For that reason, the discretion available to a judge at the transfer stage cannot substitute for discretion at post-trial sentencing in adult court—and so cannot satisfy the Eighth Amendment.”
  2. Example from Kannon Shanmugam: “Other nations have indicated time and again that the size and scope of American damages awards can create international friction. . . . For that reason, it makes little sense to assume that Congress intended to permit the recovery of foreign damages here.”
  3. Example from Ted Olson: “And it is precisely the relationship that Proposition 8 forbids. For that reason, Proposition 8 can withstand constitutional scrutiny only if it is ‘narrowly drawn’ to serve a ‘compelling state interest[].’ . . . But, as explained below, Proponents do not come remotely close to establishing a permissible basis for denying gay men and lesbians this essential aspect of their autonomy, personhood, and freedom.”

In consequence

  1. Example from Justice Kennedy: “In other words, allowing plaintiffs to sue foreign corporations under the ATS could establish a precedent that discourages American corporations from investing abroad, including in developing economies where the host government might have a history of alleged human-rights violations, or where judicial systems might lack the safeguards of United States courts. And, in consequence, that often might deter the active corporate investment that contributes to the economic development that so often is an essential foundation for human rights.”
  2. Example from Chief Justice Roberts: “In fact, the federal funds at stake constituted less than half of one percent of South Dakota’s budget at the time. . . . In consequence, ‘we conclude[d] that [the] encouragement to state action [was] a valid use of the spending power.’”
  3. Example from Justice Breyer: “At the same time, patent law’s general rules must govern inventive activity in many different fields of human endeavor, with the result that the practical effects of rules that reflect a general effort to balance these considerations may differ from one field to another. . . . In consequence, we must hesitate before departing from established general legal rules lest a new protective rule that seems to suit the needs of one field produce unforeseen results in another. And we must recognize the role of Congress in crafting more finely tailored rules where necessary.”

On that basis

  1. Example from Kannon Shanmugam: “The magistrate judge accordingly determined that ‘there is in this case a plausible construction [of the arbitration provision] calling for arbitration.” . . . On that basis, the magistrate judge concluded that the question whether the agreements’ carve-out for actions seeking injunctive relief applied to petitioners’ claims “should properly be left for the arbitrator to decide,” given the parties’ delegation of arbitrability to the arbitrator.”
  2. Example from Deepak Gupta: “The court, however, speculated that compliance with California’s meal- and rest-break requirements could ‘add a layer of complexity to a motor carrier’s schedule planning.’ . . . On that basis, it concluded that these laws are preempted by the FAAAA because they might conceivably have a ‘significant’ impact on J.B. Hunt’s ‘routes’ and ‘prices.’”
  3. Example from Joshua Rosenkranz: “He calculated a total offense level of 31 and a criminal history category of VI. . . . Attorneys for Mr. Hughes and the government weighed in on these calculations, as did the probation officer. . . . On that basis, the court computed a sentencing range under the Sentencing Guidelines—188 to 235 months.”


  1. Example from Justice Scalia: “Lexmark would prefer that its customers return their empty cartridges to it for refurbishment and resale, rather than sell those cartridges to a remanufacturer. So Lexmark introduced what it called a ‘Prebate’ program, which enabled customers to purchase new toner cartridges at a 20-percent discount if they would agree to return the cartridge to Lexmark once it was empty.”
  2. Example from Chief Justice Roberts: “Alternatively, the Government advises petitioners to raise their claims by appealing a Board sanction. . . . But the investigation of Beckstead and Watts produced no sanction . . . and an uncomplimentary inspection report is not subject to judicial review, . . . So the Government proposes that Beckstead and Watts incur a sanction (such as a sizable fine) by ignoring Board requests for documents and testimony.”
  3. Example from Justice Kavanaugh: Bielski further points to forum selection clauses as an analogy. But unlike §16(a) arbitrability appeals, Congress has not created a right to an interlocutory appeal for cases involving forum selection clauses. So a stay in the forum selection context could be required only in those cases where there is a certified §1292(b) interlocutory appeal of the forum selection issue.”

That is why

  1. Example from Justice Scalia: “But that unnecessary detour is irrelevant. There is no doubt that the Commission knew it was making a change. That is why it declined to assess penalties; and it relied on the Golden Globes Order as removing any lingering doubt.”
  2. Example from Justice Kagan: “The agreement itself becomes the measure of the parties’ equities; so if a contract abrogates the common-fund doctrine, the insurer is not unjustly enriched by claiming the benefit of its bargain. That is why the Government, like McCutchen, fails to produce a single case in which an equity court applied the common-fund rule (any more than the double-recovery rule) when a contract provided to the contrary.”
  3. Example from Lisa Blatt: “Rather, the court examined in depth the purported underlying factual determinations by the jury that the court found were reflected in the vacated convictions. That is why the court devoted 20 pages of its slip opinion to exploring what the jury ‘necessarily decided’ when it convicted the petitioners on the basis of unlawful instructions.”

To that end

  1. Example from Justice Kagan: “The court, as noted earlier, explained that it was ‘address[ing] both prongs of the qualified immunity inquiry . . . to provide guidance to those charged with the difficult task of protecting child welfare within the confines of the Fourth Amendment.’ . . . To that end, the court adopted constitutional standards to govern all in-school interviews of suspected child abuse victims.”
  2. Example from Justice Kavanuagh: “Under the Constitution’s separation of powers, Congress and the President may update the law to meet modern policy priorities and needs. To that end, Congress may enact—and often has enacted—legislation to address the modern water needs of Americans, including the Navajos, in the West.”
  3. Example from Deepak Gupta: “And a law criminalizing merchants’ efforts to tell their side of the story about the cost of credit cannot possibly be squared with the original purpose of commercial-speech protection: to ensure that consumers can make ‘intelligent and well informed’ marketplace decisions. . . . To that end, merchants have a right to inform consumers why credit is expensive—‘for what reason’ they charge more for using a credit card, ‘and at what price’—and consumers have a ‘reciprocal right to receive’ that information.”

To this end

  1. Example from Chief Justice Roberts: “Like its predecessors, the Proclamation makes clear that its ‘conditional restrictions’ will remain in force only so long as necessary to ‘address’ the identified ‘inadequacies and risks’ within the covered nations. . . . To that end, the Proclamation establishes an ongoing process to engage covered nations and assess every 180 days whether the entry restrictions should be modified or terminated.”
  2. Example from Justice Thomas: “To satisfy its Medicaid obligations, Florida has enacted its Medicaid Third-Party Liability Act, which directs the State’s Medicaid agency to ‘seek reimbursement from third-party benefits to the limit of legal liability and for the full amount of third-party benefits, but not in excess of the amount of medical assistance paid by Medicaid.’ . . . To this end, the statute provides that when a beneficiary ‘accept[s] medical assistance’ from Medicaid, the beneficiary ‘automatically assigns to the [state] agency any right’ to third-party payments for medical care.”
  3. Example from Justice Gorsuch: “Because it is the President’s duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, . . . , the framers sought to ensure he possessed ‘the power of appointing, overseeing, and controlling those who execute the laws.’ . . . To this end, the Constitution provided for a chain of authority. Several constitutional provisions reflect this structure.”

With that in mind

  1. Example from Justice Barrett: “Whether an agent’s understanding is reasonable depends on ‘[t]he context in which the principal and agent interact,’ including their ‘[p]rior dealings,’ industry ‘customs and usages,’ and ‘the nature of the principal’s business or the principal’s personal situation.’ . . . With that in mind, imagine that a grocer instructs a clerk to ‘go to the orchard and buy apples for the store.’ Though this grant of apple-purchasing authority sounds unqualified, a reasonable clerk would know that there are limits. For example, if the grocer usually keeps 200 apples on hand, the clerk does not have actual authority to buy 1,000—the grocer would have spoken more directly if she meant to authorize such an out-of-the-ordinary purchase. A clerk who disregards context and stretches the words to their fullest will not have a job for long.”
  2. Example from Chief Justice Roberts: “Such longstanding practice ‘is a consideration of great weight’ in cases concerning ‘the allocation of power between [the] two elected branches of Government,’ and it imposes on us a duty of care to ensure that we not needlessly disturb ‘the compromises and working arrangements that [those] branches … themselves have reached.’ . . . With that in mind, we turn to the question presented.
  3. Example from Justice Stevens: “Given that procedural right and Massachusetts’ stake in protecting its quasi-sovereign interests, the Commonwealth is entitled to special solicitude in our standing analysis. With that in mind, it is clear that petitioners’ submissions as they pertain to Massachusetts have satisfied the most demanding standards of the adversarial process.”
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