The use of the saying “Actions speak louder than words” renders problematic both political and legal judgments. With its often excruciating attention to language, law in particular insists on maintaining relations between speech and reality or between words and the truths that they promise in the action of speaking. In the context of President Trump’s repudiation of words, claims that actions speak louder than words threaten the possibilities of law, insofar as law relies on language.

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