Two outsized personalities clashed at the Supreme Court on Wednesday and one of them, Justice Antonin Scalia, was briefly silenced by a barbed comment that left other justices laughing.

Longtime Harvard law professor Arthur Miller, rarely at a loss for words himself, was arguing on behalf of shareholders who want to sue companies for fraud. Miller is a frequent television commentator, prolific writer and possibly the inspiration for an abrasive professor in a popular account of life at Harvard.