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May 09, 2005

Humor From The Bench

The Volokh Conspiracy has a good post on wit in Supreme Court opinions. Not surprisingly, Justice Scalia dominates the submissions. From the comments section:

Justice Scalia, concurring in Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District, 508 U.S. 384 (1993):
As to the Court's invocation of the Lemon test: Like some ghoul in a late night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, Lemon stalks our Establishment Clause jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys of Center Moriches Union Free School District. * * * Such a docile and useful monster is worth keeping around, at least in a somnolent state; one never knows when one might need him.

Another Scalia chestnut:

Justice Scalia in MCI Telecommunications v. AT&T:

"'Modify,' in our view, connotes moderate change. It might be good English to say that the French Revolution "modified" the status of the French nobility - but only because there is a figure of speech called understatement and a literary device known as sarcasm. And it might be unsurprising to discover a 1972 White House press release saying that 'the Administration is modifying its position with regard to prosecution of the war in Vietnam' - but only because press agents tend to impart what is nowadays called 'spin.'"

Posted by Cassandra at May 9, 2005 08:22 AM

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