Is Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. already getting bored with traditional opinion-writing? Or, as one mystery writer and former attorney speculates, could he have lost a bet to Justice Antonin Scalia? In an extraordinary dissent from a Supreme Court denial of review issued in a fairly routine drug arrest case, Roberts starts off with two paragraphs that hark back to the best, or worst, of the hard-boiled mystery genre. Just one of the more memorable passages: "The neighborhood? Tough as a three-dollar steak."
Chief Justice Roberts Adds a Touch of Noir to His Dissent
October 15, 2008