“I don’t want to repeat the question for the third time,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said during an exchange with attorney Carter G. Phillips during yesterday’s oral arguments in the case Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter.
“I wish you would,” said Justice Antonin G. Scalia to Breyer. “I’ve lost the question.”
As the audience laughed, Breyer retorted: “Well, here sometimes not everyone pays sufficient attention to these very clear questions.” More laughs.
The familiar Scalia & Breyer comedy act was in full effect at the court this week, but it was Breyer who was the week’s funniest justice, drawing five laughs during oral arguments in three cases. Scalia, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Justice Elena Kagan each scored two laughs.
Here’s the tally with only one week of oral arguments remaining in the term:
Justice Antonin Scalia: 61
Justice Stephen Breyer: 46
Chief Justice John G. Roberts: 25
Justice Anthony Kennedy: 11
Justice Elena Kagan: 7
Justice Samuel Alito: 5
Justice Sonia Sotomayor: 2
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 1
Justice Clarence Thomas: 0