the Supreme Court.
BY JAY WEXLER
Chief Justice Roberts: Okay, let’s get started. We’re happy to take a few questions about what’s been going on with the Court this preseason.
Reporter: Mr. Chief Justice, yesterday half the justices were in Alabama hearing a slip-and-fall case from the Piggly Wiggly in downtown Tuscumbia, while the other half, as well as yourself, were in Sheboygan clearing up a minor contract dispute involving a shipment of defective vaporizer parts. At this point, what can you say about the readiness of the justices to begin the term next month?
Chief Justice Roberts: Well, obviously, we’ve got a lot of work left to do before we’re fully ready to take on the major constitutional issues of the day. It’s been a long summer, and we’re all a little flabby-brained. I myself cited a precedent from Wisconsin instead of Michigan yesterday and nearly screwed up the whole case. But that’s why we have a preseason—to get the cobwebs out.
Reporter: There’s been a lot of talk about Justice Alito’s miscues during last week’s traffic court session in Topeka. Are you worried that he might no longer understand the basic precepts of the legal system?
Justice Alito: Hey, I’m right here.
Chief Justice Roberts: What? No. Come on. He made mistake any of us could make. Not a big deal.
Reporter: He continuously referred to the “plaintiff” as the “pork chop.”
Justice Alito: Ugh, so what?
(Justice Alito rolls his eyes so hard, he falls off his chair.)
Chief Justice Roberts: Justice Alito will be good to go on the first Monday of October, I can guarantee you that. Next question.
Reporter: This one is for Justice Thomas. Clearly, one of your primary objectives for this preseason—as in each preseason for the past two decades—is to get yourself more comfortable speaking in front of a courtroom. What, if anything, are you doing differently this preseason to achieve that goal?
(Justice Thomas stares at the Reporter for an uncomfortably long time, giggling inscrutably to himself.)
Chief Justice Roberts: Umm, Justice Thomas has redoubled his commitment this offseason. He’s been working with an opera coach and several renowned psychopharmacologists. Right now we have him presiding over a misdemeanor graffiti case in Kalamazoo. We feel pretty confident that this year’s going to be the year he breaks through. Fingers crossed, right Clarence?
(More light giggling.)
Reporter: Many of us have noted that a number of the minor league judges are practicing alongside the sitting justices. Goodwin Liu was in Tallahassee last week working on a divorce arbitration with Justice Kennedy. And Sri Srinivasan has been spotted drafting a will under Justice Kagan’s tutelage. Are you grooming these backups for potential work on the Court itself?
Chief Justice Roberts: Well, Ginsburg’s not getting any younger. And have you seen how Scalia puts down the cheeseburgers? Jesus. That guy could check out any second. We have to be ready.
Reporter: Following up for a minute on Justice Ginsburg’s age and health… Justice Ginsburg, are you dead yet?
Justice Ginsburg: Do I look dead to you? No, I am not dead. I WILL NEVER BE DEAD.
Chief Justice Roberts: Ahem. Moving on.
Reporter: Justice Scalia, you are widely known as the wittiest of the justices. But lately, Justice Breyer has been challenging you for that title. Can you confirm or deny rumors that you’ve been working with Sarah Silverman this preseason to improve your game?
Justice Scalia: (gnawing on a large nail) Stupid. Idiots. Dumbass liberal media. (He bites the nail in half.)
Justice Alito: (softly, from floor): Can somebody please help me?
Reporter: Do you care to comment on your preseason activities, Justice Breyer?
Justice Breyer: Hmm, let’s see. Ever since clerks and secretaries reported in mid-August, I’ve been thinking about the following intellectual problem… (He speaks for 15 minutes about an intellectual problem that is incomprehensible to anyone with an IQ in the normal human range).
Justice Breyer: So, there’s that.
(The one remaining awake Reporter wakes the Reporter next to her, and so on, until the Reporters are all awake again.)
Justice Ginsburg: I WILL NEVER DIE.
Reporter: This is a question for you, Mr. Chief Justice. It’s been said that under your leadership, the Court has become largely beholden to corporate interests. In your view, does the Court’s new policy of renting billboard advertising space within the courtroom feed into that criticism?
Chief Justice Roberts: Hey, the sequester is hitting us just as hard as everyone else. We gotta do what we gotta do.
Reporter: Justice Sotomayor. Last year was a big year for you. What are you doing this preseason to further your reputation as one of the left’s leading voices?
Reporter: Oh, I see. Justice Sotomayor is busy counting the mountain of gold coins that she’s received from sales of her best-selling memoir. Perhaps we can come back to her later.
(Justice Scalia reaches over, grabs a gold coin.)
Justice Scalia: Nitwits. Nothing but argle bargle. (He crushes the coin between his molars.)
Justice Thomas: Chief, can you tell Alito to stop biting my ankle?
(Justice Ginsburg dies.)
Justice Kagan: Hey, did everyone just see that? Clarence spoke!
Chief Justice Roberts: All right, then. Thank you, everybody. No further questions. See you in October!
SUGGESTED READSInhuman Rights
by Steven Seidenberg (1/25/2010)
Five People Just as Doctrinaire and Tiresome as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Speculate on How He Got That Way
by Bob Woodiwiss (7/1/2005)
List: Flavors That I Would Imagine the Forehead of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Tastes Like
by Michael Genrich (10/25/2000)
RECENTLYIf Trump Wins, I’m Leaving The Country
by Zoe Pearl (2/9/2016)
Doing Science: Cheating Death, and Skipping Winter While You’re At It
by Emily Helliwell (2/9/2016)
List: A Taxonomy of Naps
by Sam Weiner (2/9/2016)