Justice Anthony M. Kennedy may not be one of the funniest Supreme Court justices during oral arguments, but he showed his funny side during a speech Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
Kennedy recounted a story about a casual gathering of lawyers and other judges when he was an 11th Circuit judge. “I said, do you have any questions?” Kennedy said, according to a transcript of the event from Lawyers USA‘s sister company Federal News Service. “And somebody said, ‘how do you read all of those briefs, all that written material?’”
Kennedy replied that he read every brief, and would bring home briefs from the most difficult cases to reread while listening to opera. “I have one-opera and two-opera briefs,” Kennedy said, drawing laughter from the crowd. But after answering, Kennedy said he feared his talk of opera “came across as kind of highfalutin.”
“Here’s this guy talking about the opera, East Coast intellectual or trying to be one,” he said of himself, drawing more laughs. “I thought I kind of lost the audience, but a fellow raised his hand and said, ‘well, I have a rule like that when I write those briefs.’
“I said, ‘oh, yeah?’” Kennedy continued. “He said, ‘I have a one-six-pack brief and two-six-pack brief.’ I said, ‘I remember your last one. I think it was a three-six-pack brief.’”