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April 8, 2013 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Everyone around the watercooler is talking about supreme court justices. You want to join in, but you just don't have the time to research them! Don't fret! dalmatianparade's Quick Guide to the Supreme Court Justices is here to help!
posted by spiderskull (48 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Was this written by Lynda Barry?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:20 PM on April 8, 2013


I'm more used to this format being used to explain Teen Wolf so I'm confused.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 PM on April 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


My goal for this summer: be able to do more push-ups than Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:31 PM on April 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am embarrassed that I thought Bader Ginsburg was the Chief Justice until now. Sigh.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM on April 8, 2013


Well it's either seniority or trial by combat and let's face it Supreme Kombat is no fun to watch
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:37 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


LEGALITY
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on April 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is delightful. Now I want to work out with RBG.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:48 PM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thomas is only 64? Ugh, he's gonna live to 104 at least.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:00 PM on April 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


lol
posted by stoneandstar at 10:26 PM on April 8, 2013


If spite and resentment could fuel human life, then Clarence Thomas is going to outlive us all.
posted by gkhan at 10:28 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Clarence Thomas stopped drinking soda after finding pubic hair on one once. Will live forever.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:42 PM on April 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hung out with my old college roommate last week for the first time in over ten years. He is RBG's nephew and is currently working with her on what sounds like a touching screenplay about her and Marty's first case together (Marty = her late husband.) He did not mention push-ups.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:20 PM on April 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember reading somewhere that Scalia once voted with the liberal side of the court on
a case where the FBI had tacked a camera up to someone's house in order to take pictures through
a window. The reason he voted on the side of the home owner was not
because of their right to privacy, but because the tack that was used to hold up the camera
extended one eighth of an inch into the wood of the house. since it had gone beyond the paint
and actually into the wood he considered it a violation of the owners property. Paint being a
superficial and temporary aspect of the property... So remember
if your going to spy on someone always use tape.
posted by quazichimp at 12:10 AM on April 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't believe that about Scalia.
posted by Birchpear at 1:40 AM on April 9, 2013


quazichimp, Scalia is actually somewhat pro-privacy as judging by possibly the most significant case in that area, Kyllo. He wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Thomas, Ginsburg, Souter, and Breyer.

But I suspect the case you're remembering is last year's Florida v. Jardines, where he based his opinion on the question of whether a trained police dog, even by being outside the suspect's home, had breached the "curtilage" -- an area vaguely defined as being just outside the walls, where there is some expectation of privacy (i.e. I wonder if you got your memory through an analogy in an article about it separating the view of a person on the sidewalk from that of a peeping tom at the window). Here again he was joined by Thomas and liberal justices. In any case, there have been numerous privacy cases and I can't find any that involved a tack and paint, though a few involve cameras. Ultimately many Supreme Court decisions do involve some pretty specific details -- and oral argument can bring up fairly detailed examples.

If you want a way to distinguish his philosophy, though, I would say that he's very pro-privacy when it comes to a person inside their home, and a lot less pro-privacy when you get to vehicle stops and other public activity. Fourth Amendment originalism, you might call it.
posted by dhartung at 2:54 AM on April 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm detecting just the faintest detectable whiff of partisanship in this guide.

AWWWW YEAH
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:35 AM on April 9, 2013


dhartung, thanks for you input...
I made an attempt to find this case but was unsuccessful,
I did want to post proof with my post.
It would have been at lease 10 years ago most likely more
when I read this.
posted by quazichimp at 3:53 AM on April 9, 2013


I admit it, I laughed when I got to "will take approximately none of your shit."
posted by wintermind at 4:38 AM on April 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, so conservatives are bad and liberals are the chosen people? Thank goodness someone explained it!
posted by blue_beetle at 5:05 AM on April 9, 2013


I constantly forget about Kagen being a justice.

And, hokey smokes...lookit all the Catholics and Jews! If that doesn't launch about a billion conspiracy theories, I don't know what would.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:09 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did you see that ludicrous display last case? The thing about Thomas is he always tries to walk it in.
posted by edgeways at 5:12 AM on April 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Gee it's almost like we end up using religion as a proxy for would-be justices' political opinions in order to squeak them through the confirmation process.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:19 AM on April 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Compare and contrast the UK Supreme Court... who wants to bring the snark?
posted by Devonian at 5:44 AM on April 9, 2013


I bet Ruth Bader Ginsberg could beat Lady Hale in a fistfight.
posted by forgetful snow at 5:52 AM on April 9, 2013


What, no mention of Kennedy's interest in foreign law? That's one of the few sound-bite-worthy interesting things about him, save for the whole professional fence-sitter thing.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:55 AM on April 9, 2013


And, hokey smokes...lookit all the Catholics and Jews!

Here's another way to look at this list:
Scalia: Harvard
Kennedy: Harvard
Thomas: Yale
Ginsburg: Columbia (after 2 years at Harvard)
Breyer: Harvard
Alito: Yale
Sotomayor: Yale
Kagan: Harvard
Roberts: Harvard
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:01 AM on April 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ooh yes I would love to see a version of this for the UK. As long as it made me laugh as much as this did. HEARTS IN MY EYES.
posted by greenish at 6:09 AM on April 9, 2013


quazichimp, Scalia is actually somewhat pro-privacy as judging by possibly the most significant case in that area, Kyllo.

Uh guys? Scalia is actually pretty often on the side of the government not searching your shit, and makes it pretty known at least once a year. FUN FACT: Scalia and Alito are actually warring over 4th amendment law a little, since Jones and most recently last week in Jardines (which no one noticed because it was the same day as the first ssm oral argument but is actually really great).
posted by likeatoaster at 6:16 AM on April 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


so happy :')
posted by triggerfinger at 6:28 AM on April 9, 2013


They left out the Scalia/Ginsburg friendship, which is one of my favorite SCOTUS facts and a nice reminder that the Justices can maintain respect for one another even when things get very contentious on the Court.

Also, shouldn't the Scalia and Thomas pages say originalism, rather than textualism?

Okay, that's enough legal nerdery for right now!
posted by Carmelita Spats at 7:04 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's nice to see minorities well-represented in at least one part of government.
posted by oddman at 7:54 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


oddman: It's nice to see minorities well-represented in at least one part of government.
True that. Blacks who have no interest in racial equity are certainly a minority.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:22 AM on April 9, 2013


He does too have an interest in racial equality. "See, black guys can ALSO be total assholes about painfully obvious social inequities from which they profited but don't want anyone else to experience!"
posted by Madamina at 8:57 AM on April 9, 2013


I bet Ruth Bader Ginsberg could beat Lady Hale in a fistfight.

Lady Hale was my law school graduation speaker. She was wonderful. I would also put my bets on Ginsburg.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:59 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's another way to look at this list:
Scalia: Harvard
Kennedy: Harvard
Thomas: Yale
Ginsburg: Columbia (after 2 years at Harvard)
Breyer: Harvard
Alito: Yale
Sotomayor: Yale
Kagan: Harvard
Roberts: Harvard


If only Clinton had been able to convince Mario Cuomo to join the Court. He could have been a St. John's c-c-c-c-c-combo breaker.

Fun facts: Louis Brandeis entered Harvard Law at age 18, and Benjamin N. Cardozo never finished law school.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:42 AM on April 9, 2013


I've been seeing this everywhere on Tumblr and I loves it to death. I also love this fantastic exchange between Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Diane Sawyer:
Diane Sawyer: So, have you thought, how many women is enough? How many women [on the Supreme Court] would be enough?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Nine, nine. [Applause.]
Sawyer: Oh! Oh. [Laughs.]
Ginsburg: Well, there’ve been nine men there for a long long time, right? So why not nine women?
Click through to see the gif-set of Ginsburg's amazing facial expressions as she tosses this off. RBG for all the things.
posted by Phire at 9:58 AM on April 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm very okay with Obama filling any more vacancies that pop up during his term with more women. The rest of the branches of our government are still way tilted towards men, so why not?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:00 AM on April 9, 2013


I am embarrassed that I thought Bader Ginsburg was the Chief Justice until now. Sigh.

well she is chief justice of my heart
posted by mokin at 10:47 AM on April 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Go big. Let's get a Muslim in there.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:00 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer an atheist.

I'm a little busy right now, but I can clear my schedule by summer. BHO, call me!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:27 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


They left out the Scalia/Ginsburg friendship, which is one of my favorite SCOTUS facts and a nice reminder that the Justices can maintain respect for one another even when things get very contentious on the Court

In addition to that, I also just learned that Thomas and Breyer are also BFFs:

the two are frequently seen at the Court's oral arguments whispering, laughing, and passing notes

and that Clarence Thomas is one of the most popular and likeable Justices. Who knew?
posted by triggerfinger at 11:41 AM on April 9, 2013


I'd settle for a non lawyer
posted by edgeways at 11:42 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Breyer is just charming, of course Clarence Thomas wants to be his friend.

I went to see Justice Breyer speak last year. I got there almost late and an usher escorted me to a single empty seat in the third row. It turned out to be the place the Justice Breyer naturally turned to when seeking a connection with his audience, especially when he had just said something particularly witty. So...we had a connection. It was like he was speaking just to me. swoon . When he talked about riding his bike to the court, I thought, "hey I ride my bike to work too! Maybe I'll visit DC and we can go bike riding together!!!"

He will always remain my special justice.
posted by readery at 12:12 PM on April 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


My special Justice, My special Justice. I like to brush your beautiful hair.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:17 PM on April 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


edgeways: "I'd settle for a non lawyer"

Not going to happen:
But every single justice on the court, dating back to John Jay, has been a lawyer; each one either attended law school, took law classes, was admitted to the bar, or practiced law.
Stanley Reed was the last guy who didn't go to law school, he retired in 1957.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:26 PM on April 9, 2013


If anyone is wondering, I'd accept a nomination. (Also, I look great in robes.)
posted by oddman at 6:33 AM on April 10, 2013


I'd prefer an atheist.

We've had one. A pretty good one too, if I do say so myself. Definitely doesn't mean we couldn't use some more, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:51 AM on April 10, 2013


Navelgazer: I'd prefer an atheist.

We've had one. A pretty good one too, if I do say so myself. Definitely doesn't mean we couldn't use some more, though.
You just made my day. Go Ollie!
posted by IAmBroom at 2:20 PM on April 10, 2013


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