Analysis: Scalia Is By Far The Most Sarcastic Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks during a ceremony naming a courtroom at The John Marshall Law School after former Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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When it comes to his legal opinions, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is by far the most sarcastic justice on the bench, according to a new analysis.

Scalia’s penchant for biting humor isn’t news to most who follow the Court closely, but University of California-Irvine law professor Rick Hasen has put a number on it in an essay published over the weekend.

What he found puts Scalia’s unique employment of wit into context.

Hasen searched law articles and journals since 1986, looking for instances where a justice’s opinion was described as sarcastic or something similar. Of the 134 instances that Hasen found, Scalia was the author of 75 of them. The other justices combined for 59. Justice John Paul Stevens was second to Scalia with 9 sarcastic opinions.

“Justice Scalia is the most sarcastic Justice on the Supreme Court,” Hasen wrote. “He has been for at least the last thirty years, and there is good reason to believe no other Justice in history has come close to his level of sarcasm.”

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