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Take My Precedent: A Study of Supreme-Court Laughter

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Old Jan 18th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #1
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Default Take My Precedent: A Study of Supreme-Court Laughter

Supreme Court humor now been the subject of two scholarly studies, which look at such topics as which judge induces the most laughs, and who or what is often the butt of high-court yukking?



In 2005, Boston University law professor Jay Wexler counted the number of times there was a notation of “laughter” in the transcript of oral arguments at the court. From this he was able to deduce the court’s funniest justice. And the winner is: Antonin Scalia.

Thankfully, Wexler’s scholarly research has been updated, the Post reports. Texas litigation consultant Ryan Malphurs has now studied all notations of laughter in the transcripts of the court’s 2006-2007 term. He also listened to the tapes of the term’s arguments.

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