The Funniest Justice, week 11: Take my dissent ... please!

By Kimberly Atkins

The Daily Record Newswire

During oral arguments last week in the case J.D.B v. North Carolina, Justice Stephen Breyer was searching for case law that would give guidance on whether age should be a factor in determining whether someone should be read the Miranda warning.

The support ''comes from three cases: The first is Berkemer [v. McCarty], the second Stansbury [v. California], and the ... third case, of course, is my dissent in Alvarez,'' Breyer said, drawing laughs from the audience (surely not just because he actually meant to say Yarborough v. Alvarado.)

About 20 minutes later - when a different attorney was arguing - Breyer came back to the point.

''You know the sentence I'm referring to in my dissent, presumably?'' Breyer asked.

''Some people don't read the dissents - he may not have read it,'' Justice Antonin Scalia interjected, drawing laughter.

''I live always in hope,'' Breyer said.

The Breyer-Scalia comedy team dominated again this week at the Supreme Court. The duo collectively scored seven of the 10 laughs recorded.

Published: Mon, Apr 4, 2011

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