Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Comic Genius of Antonin Scalia

In an otherwise obscure passage to Justice Scalia's opinion on the case Alaska v. United States (which concerned a dispute over who controlled submerged lands in Glacier Bay), Nino gets off a pretty fantastic joke:
The only part of the Court’s opinion on Glacier Bay that displays genuine enthusiasm is its Ursine Rhapsody, which implies that federal ownership of submerged lands is critical to ensuring that brown bears will not be shot from the decks of pleasure yachts during their “distressing[ly] frequen[t]” swims to islands where they feast on seabirds and seabird eggs.2

That footnote leads us to this fabulous bit:
2It is presumptively true that the seabirds consider these visits distressingly frequent, and demonstrably true that the brown bears do not. It is unclear why this Court should take sides in the controversy.

Who said the law couldn't be fun? Many thanks to Galley Friend T.K.

9 comments:

louielouie said...

it would be illegal, somehow, but i'd bet that the best book/movie ever written, save the bible, would be by the clerk for justice Antonin Scalia. the comedy, irony, melodrama, drama, intrigue.....
the only person who could pull it off, in a movie roll, would be cary grant.
the book would be a must have.

Carole Sussman said...

Highlight of my high school trip to DC (shortly after Clinton took office) was an audience with Scalia, who proceeded to poke fun at my cohort of smug NYC liberals-in-training. We enjoyed it so much, he made an appearance on the trip t-shirt.

David Schraub said...

I think Alan Rickman would make a great Scalia.

Should we begin casting?

Anonymous said...

Joe Mantegna would actually work quite nicely if he gained about forty pounds. I'm not quite sure that he has the right personality; always seems like the movie version of Ray Romano (I know that Mantegna has played tougher characters, but I haven't seen those.)

Anonymous said...

Joe Mantegna would actually work quite nicely if he gained about forty pounds. I'm not quite sure that he has the right personality; always seems like the movie version of Ray Romano (I know that Mantegna has played tougher characters, but I haven't seen those.)

Anonymous said...

For judicial humor, try Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit . . . the case about overhead luggage racks ought to do it for you.

Glenn said...

pretty dang funny. thanks for passing it along- I'm not much or a court watcher and have apparently been missing out.

Sarah said...

Mantegna would be great. . .

Kozinski addressed my Legal Profession class and he was hilarious. Probably the only time we were all paying attention in that class.

louielouie said...

do you have a case number?
i can't seem to locate overhead luggage with a search at the 9th ciruits homepage.
my duh.