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The Funniest Justice, week 4: Lazy laughter

During oral arguments Tuesday in the case National Meat Association v. Harris, the Justice Stephen Breyer asked if the Court had to “write an 11-part opinion” dissecting each individual provision of a state statute to determine if it was preempted by a federal meat inspection law.

“I’m not trying to get out of work,” Breyer said, drawing laughter from the audience. “I just want to know.”

Without missing a beat, Justice Antonin Scalia chimed in.

“I’d like to get out of the work, to tell you the truth,” Scalia said as the crowd laughed again.

This week, Scalia broke open a wide lead in this terms funniest justice contest, earning a whopping eight laughs during oral arguments. Breyer earned three, while Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg each made the crowd chuckle once.

Here are the standings so far:

Justice Antonin Scalia: 15

Justice Stephen Breyer: 10

Chief Justice John G. Roberts: 7

Justice Elena Kagan: 1

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 1

Justice Anthony Kennedy: 0

Justice Clarence Thomas (silence continues): 0

Justice Samuel Alito: 0

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: 0

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