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The Funniest Justice, weeks 7 and 8: What happens in Vegas…

During oral arguments last week, Justice Stephen Breyer was trying to come up with a formula to ensure that jury selection processes don’t end up excluding minorities from the pool.

“I even got a book called: ‘Statistician For Lawyers,’” Breyer said. “That didn’t help me very much.”

Without missing a beat, Justice Antonin Scalia jumped in.

“That’s why Las Vegas makes a profit, right?” Scalia quipped, drawing laughs from the courtroom crowd.

Two more weeks of oral arguments have wrapped up since we last took the tally of The Funniest Justice standings. And a review of oral argument transcript laughs shows that Scalia turned the funny on full blast during the month of January.

Scalia padded his lead significantly with a whopping 17 laugh-inducing comments made from the bench. Just Stephen Breyer – quite funny in his own right – made the crowd giggle 8 times this month, while Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. drew 4 laughs.

Here are the standings as of now:

Justice Antonin Scalia: 45

Justice Stephen Breyer: 26

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.: 17

Justice Anthony Kennedy: 6

Justice John Paul Stevens: 2

Justice Samuel Alito: 3

Justice Clarence Thomas: 0 (Thomas has remained silent during oral arguments since Feb. 22, 2006, although he often laughs heartily at other justices’ jokes)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 0

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: 0

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