The Funniest Justice, week 7: Serious Supremes

supremeobamaIt’s been a busy week at the Supreme Court. Aside from hearing oral arguments, The justices handed down four decisions (more on those here, here, here and here). They even had a couple of high-profile visitors stop by.

Perhaps the seriousness of the opinion topics and the upcoming historic transfer of executive power caused the justices to be more serious and less silly on the bench this week. The laughs were few and far between, according to our ongoing review of court transcripts.

Unlike other weeks, where the crowd laughed dozens of times, this week the justices only garnered five rounds of giggles in the Court: two from quips made by the Court’s reigning funny man Justice Antonin Scalia,  two from Justice Stephen Breyer’s comments, and one from a funny made by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

(Looking at the picture, perhaps they saves all their laughs for the incoming president and vice president?)

Here are the laugh standings so for this term, based on Court transcripts:

Justice Antonin Scalia: 29

Justice Stephen Breyer: 21

Chief Justice John Roberts: 19

Justice David Souter: 9

Justice Anthony Kennedy: 9

Justice John Paul Stevens: 6

Justice Samuel Alito: 2

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 1

Justice Clarence Thomas: 0 (Thomas hasn’t made a remark during oral arguments since Feb. 22, 2006).


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