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The author notes the growing bureaucratization of appellate justice in the United States and, in particular, the drafting of opinions by law clerks rather than by judges. Taking the Supreme Court of the United States as an example, and comparing its internal procedure with that of large administrative agencies, he questions whether the method of analysis familiarly used by lawyers to arrive at an authoritative statement of law is applicable to legal texts bureaucratically produced. He suggests that legal method and its presuppositions are ultimately associated with the authority of law, and concludes that there may be critical losses not now being weighed in discussions of institutional structure and practice.