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Supreme Court justice takes a jab at the Mets

Apr 17, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Image (1) Mets%20Logo.png for post 3903

Via Baseball Think Factory, we find a Supreme Court opinion released today that makes a passing reference to the Mets in order to parse some legal language:

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) … 

That’s Justice Kagan writing, by the way. She was born in 1960 in New York, so there’s a decent chance that she’s a pessimistic Mets fan. She apparently also missed Ike Davis going yard last night, but we’ll chalk that up to an oversight by the law clerk.

  1. sdelmonte - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    A quick search reveals she is a Mets fan, to balance out Sotomayor the Yankees fan and David Souter the Red Sox fan.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      And, Sam Alito is a Phills fan. Stephen Breyer is a Red Sox fan. John Paul Stevens is a Cubbies fan.

      • Tim OShenko - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        East coast bias! How can we count on true justice when the Supreme Court is clearly indifferent to the fate of small-market, Midwest teams?

      • mgv38 - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        And I am sure whichever team Scalia roots for, Thomas does too. Silently, of course.

      • Roger Moore - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        Stevens isn’t just a Cubs fan. He’s been a Cubs fan for long enough to have watched Babe Ruth call his shot in the 1932 World Series. Yes, he was actually at the game, and is on record saying that Ruth really did call his shot.

  2. captainwisdom8888 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    It is a known fact that when a girl insults you…it hurts twice as much. Science people…

  3. cur68 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Boy, when you want to nail down futility just right, you go for the best argument you can think of, I guess: The Mets. But surely Supreme Court justice Kagan could have used for her “not an” sometimes equaling “not all” example a much better exemplar of futility? Unless I’m badly mistaken, there is another team with “no chance whatsoever” that better fits that description. They know who they are.

    • stex52 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Houston resembles that remark. :-)

  4. shawndc04 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    >>A quick search reveals she is a Mets fan, to balance out Sotomayor the Yankees fan and David Souter the Red Sox fan.<<

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but Justice Souter is no longer on the Court; so it's NY v. NY.

    • sdelmonte - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      D’oH! I totally forgot that!

      Then again, I suspect most of us can name the starting nine of our teams a lot more easily than the nine justices.

      • 4letterman - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM


  5. nineroutsider - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    How did this thread avoid of the political blowhards from both parties coming here to win the hearts and minds of the HBT readers? Impressive…

  6. umrguy42 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Well, I consider myself a conservative, and thus don’t necessarily agree with Kagan’s politics… but I think I like her overall, especially between this, and her talking about how her clerks all played Mortal Kombat (I think) during the CA video game rating case last year/year before. Nice to see someone who isn’t dreadfully boring and dry i their opinion prose, I guess. (Admittedly, that may be an unfair stereotype based on no real evidence, but still.)

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