“Alice In Wonderland” In SCOTUS


In two dissents this previous time period, Justices invoked Alice in Wonderland.

Chief Justice Roberts had this gem in FEC v. Cruz. A paragraph on web page 7 begins:

These arguments have an Alice in Wonderland air about them, with the Authorities arguing that appellees would not violate the statute by repaying Cruz, and the appellees arguing that they would. However this case has unfolded in an uncommon approach. 

Three paragraphs later, on the underside of web page 8, Roberts pays off the Alice reference:

However we’d like not go additional down this rabbit gap.

And Justice Thomas’s dissent in U.S. v. Taylor included this reference:

But, the Courtroom holds that Taylor didn’t truly commit a “crime of violence” as a result of a hypothetical defendant—the Courtroom calls him “Adam”—may have been convicted of trying to commit Hobbs Act theft with out utilizing, trying to make use of, or threatening to make use of bodily power. Ante, at 5; see §924(c)(3)(A). This holding exemplifies simply how this Courtroom’s “categorical strategy” has led the Federal Judiciary on a “journey By means of the Trying Glass,” throughout which now we have discovered many “unusual issues.” L. Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and By means of the Trying Glass 227 (J. Messner ed. 1982).

I respect Thomas’s reference, however Roberts’s was a lot more practical.

Do not forget Justice Scalia’s barb from his dissent in Los Angeles v. Patel:

The Courtroom means that police may get hold of an administrative subpoena to go looking a visitor register and, if a motel strikes to quash, the police may “guar[d] the registry pending a listening to” on the movement. Ante, at 2456. This proposal is equal elements 1984 and Alice in Wonderland.

Why make one literary reference in a sentence when you can also make two?

 

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