Courting Justice Kennedy's 'Swing' Vote

As the "swing" judge on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy has to fend off people from the left and the right who wish to influence his thinking. Satirists Bruce Kluger and David Slavin imagine how that might play out.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

The Supreme Court began its new session today. Most docket watchers agree that Justice Anthony Kennedy will again play the role of the court's all-important swing vote that might be seen as a position of power. But satirists Bruce Kluger and David Slavin imagine it's probably exhausting.

(Soundbite of buzz)

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Yes.

Unidentified Woman#1: (As Nancy) Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsburg on line one, sir.

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Put her through, Nancy.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) Hello, stranger. So how was your summer?

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Oh, just fine, Ruth. I got my lawn and shipshape.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) Mm-hmm.

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) And then I have…

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) Would it have killed you to send me a postcard?

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Oh, I'm sorry, Ruth. I didn't have your address.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) Stephen Breyer went to Sea World and he sent me a postcard. David Souter took his mother to Colonial Williamsburg and he sent me a postcard.

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Yes, I understand. I am so sorry, Ruth.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) Did you get my card?

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Yes, I did. The Catskills were beautiful.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) I don't know, Anthony. First, you vote against me on affirmative action in free speech. Then you don't write. You don't call. Sometimes, I feel like you treat me like Judge Judy.

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) No, Ruth. You know that isn't the case.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) So be a good boy and come over a little nudge(ph) this weekend. We'll eat. We'll smooth. We'll discuss all those cases that are waiting in the docket for us, right?

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) You bet, Ruth. Listen, I got to run.

Unidentified Woman#2: (As Justice Ruth Ginsburg) That's fine, fine. But where is Garth(ph) today? They got the air-conditioning on too high again.

(Soundbite of dial tone)

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Oh, boy. Nancy, I'm going to the bathroom. I'll be right back. Jeez, I'm back one day and the pressure starts all over again.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) Well, well. Look what we've got here, Clarence.

Unidentified Man#3: (As Justice Clarence Thomas) Yeah. Look at what we've got here.

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Oh. Antonin, Clarence, you startled me. Hi, fellows.

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) Word on the streets says you're making nicey-nice with old lady Ginsburg. Is that true?

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Look. Fellows, I just need to go…

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) You just need to go to lunch with us today. We'll meeting Alito and Roberts for a little powwow, Galileo's, 1:30 back room, they got a buckle to die for.

Unidentified Man#3: (As Justice Clarence Thomas) Yeah. To die for.

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) And we got a lot to discuss, Pizan(ph) - habeas corpus, discrimination, the environment. And we just want to make sure that we're all on the riding arrow.

Unidentified Man#3: (As Justice Clarence Thomas) Don't you mean straighten arrow, boss?

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) Shut up, Clarence.

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) And if I refuse?

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) Let's just say the rumors have a nasty way of spreading around this town. I mean, I hate it for somebody to pick up the Washington Times tomorrow and read it, oh, we follow you in that stall over there, tapping your right foot like a woodpecker.

Unidentified Man#3: (As Justice Clarence Thomas) Right. Tapping three times, then you carefully move your roller back to the front of the stall and then, baby, oh.

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) Bastard, Clarence. So what it's going to be, sunshine? Can I tell the boys you'll be joining us for lunch?

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) Well, I suppose.

Unidentified Man#2: (As Justice Antonin Scalia) Good decision, your honor. We'll give you a ride just as soon as Sam finishes washing my car. Let's go, Clarence.

Unidentified Man#3: (As Justice Clarence Thomas) Yeah. Let's go, Clarence.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man#1: (As Justice Anthony Kennedy) It's going to be a long year.

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: Satire from Bruce Kluger and David Slavin with Jane Genarro(ph) and Todd Cummings(ph).

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