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The funniest justice: It’s not Souter, but he’s funnier than you think

With yesterday’s wrap of January oral arguments, it’s time for an update on our “funniest justice” tally. And the results are as expected: no one keeps ‘em howling like Justice Antonin Scalia.

This term Scalia has caused the crowd in the Supreme Courtroom to laugh a whopping 38 times – three of which came in a single exchange Monday over the right of federal employees to conduct searches of people’s homes.

Scalia is so far ahead in the funny race that the real contest is for second place. Keep an eye on surprise funnyman Justice David Souter, who continues to nudge forward, this month passing the outspoken and often amusing Justice Stephen Breyer. Here’s the laugh count for the other justices to date:

Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.: 14
Justice David Souter: 10
Justice Stephen Breyer: 9
Justice John Paul Stevens: 6
Justice Anthony Kennedy: 4
Justice Samuel Alito, Jr.: 3
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 1
Justice Clarence Thomas: 0 (more on him in the next post).

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