The funniest justice: Alito’s on the board!

Today the Court heard its last oral argument until after Turkey Day, so it’s a perfect time to check in on who is, so far, The Funniest Justice.

But first, DC Dicta must apologize for an omission in the previous two tallies of which justice makes the crowd laugh the most. Somehow, we forgot to include esteemed Justice Samuel Alito. DC Dicta is sincerely sorry.

The likely reason for the oversight: he hadn’t made anyone laugh. That is, until this week!

During oral argument in Department of Revenue of Kentucky v. Davis, Alito made a funny, and is therefore officially on the board (we’ll give an assist to Justice David Souter, who gave Alito the lead in. Check out the transcript here [PDF file] to see what we mean – page 6).

Meanwhile, with each passing week, Justice Antonin Scalia’s lead grows, but the race for number two is still anyone’s game. Here is the breakdown of how many times each justice has made the crowd laugh at One First Street, NE, so far this term:

Justice Antonin Scalia: 17
Chief Justice John G. Roberts: 8
Justice John Paul Stevens: 6
Justice David Souter: 6
Justice Stephen Breyer: 5 (A figure DC Dicta finds surprisingly low, but our money is on him inching higher as the term progresses).
Justice Anthony Kennedy: 2
Justice Samuel Alito: 1
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 0
Justice Clarence Thomas: 0*

*He doesn’t say anything, except whispers to Justice Breyer, whom he cracks up on a regular basis.


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