Midweek Recess: Twitter Tantrums, Flying Hot Dogs, and Barry Bonds's Ninth (Circuit) Inning

Welcome to Law.com’s Midweek Recess, in which we round up some tasty tidbits from the week’s legal news cycle. We’ll be here every Wednesday, so grab a cup of coffee and take a little break. It’s all downhill to the (long!) weekend from here.

Twitter Tantrum - In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday. As is the norm with controversial decisions, a firestorm of commentary ensued. This time, though, some of it was aimed at an unexpected targetSCOTUSBlog.

“Why SCOTUSBlog?” you might ask. “They didn’t make the decision.” Well. Apparently, some people thought that SCOTUSBlog was the actual blog of SCOTUS, and that its Twitter account was the official Twitter of SCOTUS. So they decided to let the justices have it (or so they thought). And SCOTUSBlog, not one to miss out on some fun, tweeted back.  Unsurprisingly, hilarity ensued:

Really? Let’s let twitter decide. Ok? MT @The_Itch@SCOTUSblog How do I become a justice? Pretty sure I’m smarter than 5 of you.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014

 

Or when bloggers decide the law? MT @alyssaanton@SCOTUSblog proves democracy cannot work when leaders are appointed instead of elected.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014

 

Fee fie fo… fum you @SCOTUSblog There is no respect for these male dunderheads! Fie on your ignorance!

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014

Fie indeed–on everyone who can’t read a Twitter bio. Psst! They’re in the lefthand corner!

What’s Love Got to Do With It? – Much of the (140-characters-plus) debate over the decisions issued during this Supreme Court term has focused on the high number of unanimous rulings. Some have suggested that this heralds the arrival of a new, warm, cuddly SCOTUS; Eric Posner thinks not. Rather, he argues that the court has actually issued a relatively consistent number of unanimous decisions each term since 1995. Further, Posner suggests that unanimous decisions “mask ideology rather than show its absence.”

So, if you thought harmony among the nine was imminent, think again. It’s not that they don’t disagree. It’s just that, like any family, the justices try not to fight in public—er, not too often, anyway.

Guess Who’s Back (In Court)– Barry Bonds, of Giants baseball fame, has been given another shot at having his felony conviction overturned. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has agreed to an en banc rehearing to consider whether Bonds was guilty of obstructing justice when he gave a long, indirect answer to a grand jury’s questions about steroid use. The jury found his answer “evasive” and convicted him. A three-judge panel from the Ninth had previously affirmed that ruling, but the majority of the judges on the court agreed to rehear his appeal. This gives a whole new meaning to trying to come from behind to win in the Ninth.

Doggone It – In other baseball news, the Missouri Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in a fight over damages for a fan who was hit in the eye by a hot dog tossed by the mascot of the Kansas City Royals during a game. The court, citing prior rulings, acknowledged that baseball teams are not liable for injuries that a fan might reasonably expect to sustain at the ballpark–such as getting hit by a fly ball. However, Judge Paul C. Wilson felt that the risk of getting thwacked in the face by a flying sausage launched from an air gun was “not an unavoidable part of watching the Royals play baseball.

We’d just like to have a talk with the mascot’s mother. Didn’t she teach him it’s not polite to throw food?

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