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The Funniest Justice, week 2: Million dollar laugh

During her oral argument Tuesday in the case Ryan v. Valencia Gonzales, attorney Leticia Marquez argued that criminal defense lawyers who lose the ability to effectively communicate with their client have a duty to raise the issue with the judge.

“Is he under duty to raise it as soon as possible, at the risk of forfeiture if he doesn’t?” asked Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

“Well, that’s the million dollar question,” Marquez said.

“Well, that’s why I’m asking,” Kennedy replied to laughter from the crowd.

And with that, the swing-voting justice is on the board in our ongoing count to determine this term’s Funniest Justice. Justice Antonin G. Scalia and Justice Stephen G. Breyer also each earned a laugh this week. Here are our standings after week 2:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.: 3

Justice Stephen G. Breyer: 3

Justice Antonin G. Scalia: 2

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy: 1

Justice Clarence Thomas: 0

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 0

Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.: 0

Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor: 0

Justice Elena Kagan: 0


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