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One more Supreme Court amusement

I have some other posts planned, but my buddy Geof pointed out something in a Supreme Court ruling today that made me chuckle.

In Environmental Protection Agency v. EME Homer City Generation, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissent (joined in by Justice Thomas). And Scalia never shies from making pointed opinions.

https://twitter.com/gfmorris/status/461200926221430784

And it’s (more or less) true! (Scalia quoted Karl Marx, but not directly from the Communist Manifesto.) On page 3 of the dissent (page 40 of the PDF) Scalia says that the “EPA’s utterly fanciful “from each according to its ability” construction sacrifices democratically adopted text to bureaucratically favored policy.”

Now, Scalia wields a deft scalpel, inserting the (unattributed) quote to show even more disdain for the EPA’s action that the majority of SCOTUS affirmed.1

As I was paging through the decision to find the reference that Geof mentioned, I also found another reference that amused me: Justice Ginsburg (a very liberal Jewish lady) quoting from the Gospel of John:

Some pollutants stay with­ in upwind States’ borders, the wind carries others to downwind States, and some subset of that group drifts to States without air quality problems. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.” The Holy Bible, John 3:8 (King James Version)

(From page 8 of the PDF. Apparently the KJV merits a full-blown citation.)

So Scalia quotes Marx, and Ginsburg quotes Jesus. That’s my amusement for the day.


  1. Thanks to Steve and Kari for pointing out that I used the wrong acronym for the Supreme Court in my last post. I shall henceforth adopt the more prevalent usage. 

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