supreme court

The Supreme Court Has Been Watching Too Much Law & Order

Supreme Court justices get handpicked by the president to wear fancy robes and make questionable decisions that affect the nature of political campaigns, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love a good police procedural as much as the next guy. As with any addict of the Law & Order or CSI franchise, they think they’ve gotten pretty good at solving crimes. You think they’d fall for a suspect called in for questioning before the second commercial break? Please, SCOTUS has been tuning in since Munch was in conspiracy diapers. They know every B-list guest star is a secret sociopath and that flashing a bartender a photo will win you a clue. In fact, all that expert understanding, absorbed by televised osmosis, seems to have informed yesterday’s hearing on a habeas corpus case, according to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. In particular, their responses seemed to be marked by a lurid questioning of the gory details.

The evidence didn’t add up to Justice Ruth Ginsburg (the group’s resident Mariska Hargitay): “If someone were moved from the bed, taken to the living room couch, you would have expected to see a trail of blood from the bed, and there wasn’t that.” Justice Samuel Alito entertained a hypothetical: “Let’s say there really was a gun fight, and Klein [the victim] fell someplace else. Why is it so valuable to him to move Klein’s body?” Justice Antonin Scalia saw something suspicious in the defendant’s shoddy clean-up job: “Why wouldn’t he wipe up the blood? I mean, what good is it to simply put him on the couch when you leave a pool of blood showing that that’s where he was shot?”

Says Milbank, “In legal circles, there’s a hot debate over whether a ‘CSI effect’ has taken hold of juries, who expect prosecutors to convince them with the forensic certainty they do on TV. ” Hey, at least it’s better than them watching too much Real Housewives.

Gore vs. the Supreme Court: The justices and the ‘CSI effect’ [WP]

The Supreme Court Has Been Watching Too Much Law & Order