Take My Scalia, Please!

Just ran across this gem. Who is the funniest Supreme Court Justice? A 2005 study reported in the New York Times has the answer. Boston University Professor J.D. Wexler has conducted a survey of the transcripts of  SCOTUS oral arguments, and … drum roll, please … Justice Antonin Scalia is the semi-official “Court Jester,” with 77 laughs. Justice Stephen Breyer came in second with 45, and Justice Ginsburg quipped in just four laughs. Bringing up the rear was the “Harpo Marx” of the troupe, Justice  Clarence Thomas, who added zero laughs — likely because he speaks so rarely.  Just one shining example from the “sit down”  routine from that Laurel and Hardy (Roberts & Scalia) of the Bench:

– Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

“Consider, for instance, the golden opportunity on Halloween this year when a light bulb in the courtroom’s ceiling exploded during an argument.

It takes two justices, it turns out, to screw up a light bulb joke.

“It’s a trick they play on new chief justices all the time,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who joined the court that month, said of the explosion.


“Happy Halloween,” Justice Scalia retorted.


And then, the kicker. “We’re even more in the dark now than before,” Chief Justice Roberts said.


Not exactly “Laugh Factory” material but for this crowd is passes for riotous humor. Maybe the new additions to the Court will liven things up. I hear Sotomayor plays the violin and can say, “Well,” with the best of ’em. Rochester is that you?

Source: New York Times

— Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

17 thoughts on “Take My Scalia, Please!”

  1. Nal,

    Truth is the truth….But then again, I wish that they weren’t there….

  2. Suuuurrrrreeee. The libation made me do it!

    I wonder if that’s Scalia’s excuse for Citizens United too. 😉

  3. Sorry about the Ginsburg/Breyer gaffs. Too much birthday cheer. Will correct tomorrow. Can’t you guys take a joke? 🙂

  4. Nal 1, November 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Fixed typos.


    Still not funny Nal

  5. The only thing funny about Scalia, other than his bulbous head, is that he is mortal.

  6. Epic posting fail. “Former Justice Stephen Breyer came in second with 45, and ex-Justice Ginsberg quipped in just four laughs.”

    Ginsburg is not an ex-Justice, nor is Justice Stephen Breyer a “former” member of the Court. Unless you know something the rest of us don’t?

  7. Taking his seat in his chambers, the judge faced the opposing lawyers. “So,” he said, “I have been presented, by both of you, with a bribe.” Both lawyers squirmed uncomfortably. “You, attorney Leon, gave me $15,000. And you, attorney Campos, gave me $10,000.” The judge reached into his pocket and pulled out a check. He handed it to Leon … “Now then, I m returning $5,000, and we re going to decide this case solely on its merits.”

  8. “and ex-Justice Ginsberg quipped in just four laughs”

    Did you mean CURRENT justice Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? She is still on the court and her last name is spelled Ginsburg. We have few enough women on the court or in high offices. Please don’t marginalize them further.

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