Source: 'Heavy Lifting', by Dahlia Lithwick, BA, JD. (I include post-nomials to lend credence to this)

Finally, Caitlin Halligan has 30 minutes to represent UPS. Her argument is that failure to accommodate doesn’t make UPS discriminatory but rather “pregnancy-blind.” Halligan will spend much of that time being pounded by Justice Elena Kagan, who—in a protracted one-on-one—will ask her 10 different versions of this same question: “So your reading of the statute basically makes everything after the semicolon completely superfluous?” (The troublesome semicoloned sentence is, admittedly, a little clunky: “The terms ‘because of sex’ or ‘on the basis of sex’ include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 2000e-2(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit otherwise.”) Kagan slowly builds to the accusation that under Halligan’s reading of the statute, everything after the semicolon is a “kind of double redundancy.” It’s a redundancy, if you will, that “THAT becomes redundant even within the redundancy.”

Ah. The glamour.

1. How do you determine/deduce the bolded's meaning? The first that is a relative pronoun, but what's the antecedent of the second THAT, a demonstrative pronoun, (which I myself capitalised for discrimination) ?

2. What's a double redundancy?


The quotation defines a "double redundancy".

Something is "redundant" if it is needlessly expressed twice, just like this sentence expresses the idea that a redundancy says the same thing twice without any reason.

Kagan defines something as being doubly redundant if it is not only redundant (needlessly appears twice), but needlessly appears three times. In her example, a chunk of allegedly extraneous text could be deleted, and the example would still allegedly be redundant.

U.S. Supreme Court justices assume (unless proven otherwise) that every distinct phrasing of a law was intended by the legislature to be meaningfully different from other phrasings of the law. The justices are therefore reluctant to ignore legal text on the grounds that it is allegedly redundant. Instead, they usually try to find some meaning in the extra text, so that it is not redundant.

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