During oral arguments Wednesday in the case Chafin v. Chafin, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wanted to know whether a Scottish court, in determining someone’s habitual residence, would consider a U.S. court decision.
“I think they would pay attention to what other courts have said,” Breyer said. “Am I right or wrong? I want to know if I’m right or wrong.”
But instead of the arguing attorney giving him an answer, his colleague did.
“We have a brief in the case telling us that the question Justice Breyer is posing,” Ginsburg said. “They would say it’s irrelevant.”
“They would?” Breyer said.
“Justice Ginsburg, that is correct,” attorney Stephen Cullen finally said.
Well, thank for Justice Ginsburg’s answer,” Breyer replied. “She is very helpful.”
Breyer was the top laugh earner this week, adding three chuckles to his score in our ongoing tally of the term’s Funniest Justice. Justice Antonin G. Scalia earned two laughs to hold onto his solid lead in the race, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made the crowd giggle once.
Here is the full tally for the term so far:
Justice Antonin G. Scalia: 12
Justice Stephen G. Breyer: 8
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.: 5
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy: 3
Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor: 3
Justice Elena Kagan: 1
Justice Clarence Thomas: 0
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 0
Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.: 0