It’s a not-to-be-missed annual ritual that brings the Supreme Court in rare direct contact with the legislative branch: the Court’s budget hearing Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

As they have for several years now, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas drew the short straws and testified on behalf of the Court’s $66.5 million annual budget. But the discussion, as always, was wide-ranging, and the hearing did not disappoint.