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Conjunctions and the Constitution

I’ve posted before that it’s okay to start a sentence with a conjunction. In case anyone out there is thinking, “That’s fine for colloquial writing but not for dignified legal writing,” I offer a few selections from the United States Constitution:

  • Art. I §7: “But in all such Cases the Votes of Both Houses shall be determined....”
  • Art. II §1: “And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each.... But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States.... But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.”
  • Art. IV §1: “And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”
  • Amendment XII: “And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President....”

So if it’s good enough for the U.S. Constitution, it’s good enough for that brief you’re working on.