2 January 2006
Justices Youngman and Dangerfield dissent
You wouldn't think this could be quantified, but apparently Supreme Court records show that Antonin Scalia is 19 times funnier than Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Transcripts of oral arguments have often been punctuated by a simple [Laughter] indication, but until October 2004, it was not possible to identify the Justices by name.
Now it is, and Jay D. Wexler, a law professor at Boston University, has been crunching the numbers on the wisecracks. Scalia, says Wexler, is responsible for some 77 "laughing episodes"; Ginsburg, only four. (Clarence Thomas, who tends not to say much during oral arguments, is credited with none.)
The methodology, of course, is not perfect: [Laughter] can indicate anything from a chuckle to a guffaw.
(Via Alan Sullivan.)Posted at 6:20 AM to Political Science Fiction