Dahlia Lithwick’s not sure why she’s offended or even if she’s offended, but damn it, someone should be offended.
Here’s the exchange from today’s oral argument. The first part comes from pages 14-15, then Scalia’s comment a minute or two later on page 16. As you’ll see, he was picking up on a reference to alcohol made by the petitioner’s own lawyer.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: But there is no supervised release of people outside the United States.
MR. CROOKS: There is no supervision of people outside the United States, Mr. Chief Justice, but he is still subject to the jurisdiction of the District Court and still subject to the conditions of supervised release that are not dependent upon supervision.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Like what?
MR. CROOKS: For example, he should not use alcohol, he should not associate with persons.
JUSTICE SCALIA: We have a case involving standing which says that — you know, the doctrine of standing is more than an exercise in the conceivable. And this seem to me an exercise in the conceivable. Nobody thinks your client is really, you know, abstaining from tequila down in Mexico because he is on supervised release in the United States, or is going — is going to apply having been deported from the country for criminal offenses, he is going to apply to come back — and look, these are ingenious exercises in the conceivable. This is just not the real world.
Vote in the comments: More offensive — equating tequila with Mexican alcohol, beer with German alcohol, vodka with Russian alcohol, or sake with Japanese alcohol?
End racism against alcohol now!