The GR8 Justice Scalia’s fab new textseller, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, flames his fellow bats for interpreting statutes based on PPP (personal policy preferences) instead of STTTOTSS (stick to the text of the statute, stupid). OMG, how he H8s it when they DV8 from the original intent of the Farmers of the Constitution! EZ enuf 2 say U shouldn’t do that, but IMHO it raises lots of FAQ’s.
In order to promote his book (IOTPHB), El Nino recently appeared at the Monday night open mic down at Bench ‘n’ Bar.
Scene: The Bench ‘n’ Bar Comedy Club.
MC: OK, folks, we got a great lineup for you tonight. Anybody here from out of town? You, sir? Where’re you from? Cleveland? So what? Hahaha. Just warming up the room. Our first comic, a very funny guy, comes all the way from DC, give it up for JUSTICE NINO SCALIA!
SCALIA: [coming to the stage] Everybody leave the room immediately!
STRAIGHTMAN: Why must everybody leave the room, Judge?
SCALIA: Don’t you see that sign saying EXIT? An unambiguous command to leave.
STRAIGHTMAN: But surely the drafter intended only to indicate where the exit is located, should one or more persons wish to leave.
SCALIA: There you go, distorting the clear textual meaning to suit your own PPP’s! Statutes must be interpreted according to the canon of umquam dumquam stupendo hic.
[Applause, shouts of “right on, bro!”]
STRAIGHTMAN: But isn’t it impractical to require everyone to immediately leave any room that has an exit sign? Doesn’t that have a disparate impact on women, gays, ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged groups who might be discouraged from going into rooms?
SCALIA: There’s no constitutional right to go into a room. It was a wholly unknown practice at the time of the ratification of the Constitution. The only solution is for the drafter to change the sign to, “Any person coming into this room who wishes to exit said room may do so by the egress indicated.” Once we allow ourselves to depart from genuine textual interpretation, it’s the end of Democracy.
[Howls of laughter]
STRAIGHTMAN: How would you construe a sign saying “Dogs must be carried on the escalator”?
SCALIA: Obviously you have to use the stairs unless you have a portable pooch handy. That’s my time, folks! Come back for my next set when we’ll talk about whether “Keep off the grass” applies to lawnmowers.
*(bye for now)