Laugh Track

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Green Bag Press




The Supreme Court may have its own police force, its own museum curator, and even its own basketball court, but unlike the courts of yore it has no Jester. As a result, the responsibility of delivering humor within the hallowed halls of One First Street falls squarely on the backs of the nine Justices themselves. But which Justice provides the best comic entertainment for the court watchers, lawyers, and staff that make up the Court’s audience on any given argument day? Surely many believe that Justice Scalia, with his acerbic wit and quick tongue, has provided the most laughs from the bench. Since Justice Thomas rarely speaks at all, he likely has not instigated much courtroom giggling. And of course, it is widely believed that Justice Ginsburg doesn’t even laugh herself, much less make others laugh. Until now, however, any discussion of the Justices’ relative comic ability has remained in the realm of anecdote, speculation, and rumor.



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