The nine justices of the United States Supreme Court sit in their conference room around a grand table fashioned out of old-growth mahogany trees stolen from a Honduran rainforest.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay, then, that’s settled. The vote is six to three to make it legal to hurl diseased cow carcasses into Lake Tahoe. What’s next on the agenda?

JUSTICE ALITO: Can we consider that case about whether women should have the right to drive?

JUSTICE GORSUCH (under his breath): Women. Right to drive. Ha.

JUSTICE KAGAN (sighing): How about if we took a short break? I’m so tired. So very, very tired.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I think we could spare a few minutes, sure.

JUSTICE THOMAS: Who wants to talk about guns?

JUSTICE JACKSON (quick to cut off this topic): Did anyone see the nominations for best picture? Any favorites?

JUSTICE GORSUCH: Ah. Good question, Jackson. I don’t know. Did any grand historical epics get nominated? I love myself some history and tradition.

JUSTICE ALITO: Me too. Are any of the nominees set in a thirteenth-century women’s dungeon?

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: Sorry, no medieval dungeons, Sam. But there’s Oppenheimer. That’s historical.

JUSTICE THOMAS (brightening): And isn’t it kind of about getting rid of foreigners?

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Well, yes and no, I guess. Anyway. What about that movie with De Niro and DiCaprio about the murders on Osage tribal land?

JUSTICE GORSUCH: I saw that one. It was so sad and terrible what happened.

JUSTICE KAGAN: You know, Neil, your support of American Indian sovereignty and civil rights really complicates the prevailing narrative about you totally sucking.

JUSTICE GORSUCH (winking at Justice Kagan): Thanks, Sugar.


JUSTICE JACKSON: What about Barbie? Now that was fun.

JUSTICE BARRETT: I liked that one too. My favorite character was Ken.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Barbie? What was that one about?

JUSTICE JACKSON: It’s about Barbie. The doll. Don’t you remember all that “Barbenheimer” hype last summer?

JUSTICE ALITO: We have two Weimaraners at our second country house.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: I drank a bottle of Gewürztraminer for breakfast yesterday.

JUSTICE JACKSON: No, no. Barbie. You know, the Greta Gerwig film? With Margot Robbie?

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Never heard of it. Weird, because I usually have my finger on the pulse of American culture.

JUSTICE GORSUCH: I never heard of it either. Does it have any particular theme or message?

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: It’s about empowering women to bust through the chains of the patriarchy.

JUSTICE THOMAS: A horror picture. I love it.

JUSTICE JACKSON: It’s not a horror movie, Clarence. It’s about celebrating women’s empowerment.

JUSTICE ALITO: Oh, so it’s a comedy?

The conservative justices laugh and laugh and laugh. The laughing goes on for four minutes and eighteen seconds before dying down. Justice Barrett, however, continues to giggle softly.

JUSTICE BARRETT (giggling softly): Empowering women… priceless.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: What about that movie The Holdovers?

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I didn’t see that one. What’s it about?

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: It’s about a student and a teacher stuck at their boarding school over Christmas break.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: Now we’re talking. Hubba hubba!

Justice Kavanaugh hums the theme from his third-favorite boarding school porn flick.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR (shaking her head): No, Brett, it’s not about that.

Uncomfortable silence, for a beat. The justices all kind of look at each other, then look away. Justice Thomas pretends to read a newspaper.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: Hey, wait a minute. Very few of my accusers even went to boarding school.

JUSTICE ALITO (eager to change the subject): You sure like beer, though.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH (pulling out a can of Foster’s from his pants and taking a swig): That I do (belches).

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: There’s also American Fiction. That’s a good one. It’s a searing satire about racial stereotypes.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I’ll pass on that one. I don’t see color. I’m post-racial.

Justice Kagan grabs the Foster’s can from Justice Kavanaugh and chugs it. Justice Jackson throws up several times into a diamond vase studded with Sri Lankan sapphires pilfered from eighth-century Buddhist statues.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Well, it doesn’t sound like we’re going to come to any sort of consensus here.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Not again. Darn. The four-hundred-and-eighty-seventh time in a row.

A knock is heard at the door to the conference room. As the junior justice, Justice Jackson must answer the door. A messenger hands her an envelope.

JUSTICE JACKSON: Looks like this is for you, Clarence.

Justice Jackson hands the envelope to Justice Thomas, who opens it, reads the note, and smiles.

JUSTICE THOMAS: I think we have a winner, folks. The producers of something called Anatomy of a Fall just offered me my very own winged unicorn if I vote for their movie. I’ve always wanted a flying steed. I vote for Anatomy of a Fall.

All the conservative justices agree to vote for Anatomy of a Fall.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay, then, now that that’s done, let’s talk about whether women have a right to drive.

JUSTICE BARRETT (under her breath): Women. Right to drive. Ha ha.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Is it too late to go to veterinary school?

JUSTICE JACKSON: I have to do forty more years of this shit?

Justice Kagan’s remaining life force fizzles out of her like a deflating balloon, and she dies.