Before he was chief justice of the United States, John Roberts was a prominent appellate lawyer who in one case found himself on the wrong end of a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Asked why the court ruled against his position 9-0, Roberts quipped humbly, “There are only nine justices.”

That story came to mind as readers digested an article about a Fulton County prosecutor who ran into a buzz saw of criticism from three Georgia Supreme Court justices during a recent oral argument. “Incomprehensible,” “scary” and “frivolous” were among the justices’ descriptions of the state’s position that a judge was right not to suppress statements made by a murder defendant who told officers multiple times he wished to remain silent.

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