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Supreme Court Justice Goes out of Her Way to Clown the Mets

Apr 17, 2012, 5:04 PM EDT

The Supreme Court is now on record that the 2012 Mets can't hit. Now we just have to hope Justice Alito, a former Phillies Fantasy Camp-er, doesn't start getting cute.

Supreme Court justices are known for having their law clerks do the bulk of the bench’s opinion drafting.

So either there’s a baseball junkie in chambers, or Justice Elena Kagan went out of her way in the final edit of her majority opinion in the Caraco Pharmaceutical Labratories, LTD, et al, v. Novo Nordisk A/S et al. decision, released on Tuesday, to slip in a dig at the New York Mets.

From the Cornell Legal Information Institute (via Hardballtalk):

“The meaning of the phrase turns on its context. See
Johnson v. United States, 559 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 5)
(“Ultimately, context determines meaning”). “Not an” sometimes means
“not any,” in the way Novo claims. If your spouse tells you he is late
because he “did not take a cab,” you will infer that he took no cab at
all (but took the bus instead). If your child admits that she “did not
read a book all summer,” you will surmise that she did not read any book
(but went to the movies a lot). And if a sports-fan friend
bemoans that “the New York Mets do not have a chance of winning the
World Series,” you will gather that the team has no chance whatsoever
(because they have no hitting) …”

(note: emphasis our own)

As HardballTalk points out, Kagan was born in New York, so there’s a chance she’s just a salty fan. Regardless, legal scholars decades from now will be able to look back through the annals of American jurisprudence to find that the Roberts Court went on record that the 2012 Mets couldn’t hit.

Now we just have to hope former Phillies Fantasy Camp-er Justice Samuel Alito doesn’t start getting cute all of a sudden.

Original photo (minus Mr. Met) courtesy the Associated Press