Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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John Roberts: Words mean what he says they mean

Just the other day I stopped off at an International House of Pancakes for breakfast. I don’t usually eat breakfast out. Most often, my breakfast consists of some type of cereal marketed to kids that Michelle Obama demands I not eat, yet on this occasion I had the opportunity to eat a hearty breakfast that someone else cooked. So, I took advantage and looked forward to a big meal.

The delightful hostess walked me to a table where soon an equally delightful waitress greeted me.

Millie, my waitress: Welcome to IHOP, What can I get for you?

Me: Ah, let’s see, I’d like the Santa Fe omelet. Throw in some extra Hatch green chiles, if you can. I like a little kick with my eggs.

Millie: Would you like hash browns or red potatoes?

Me: Red potatoes, please. I’m trying to watch my waistline, just a little.

Millie: Sausage or bacon?

Me: I’m a sausage guy.

Millie: And toast?

Me: Yes. Wheat, if you don’t mind.

I usually prefer to order eggs when I go out for breakfast. I don’t really know why? Like I said, I don’t go out for breakfast very often. Yet, pancakes or waffles seem so…pedestrian.

Soon, Millie was back with my breakfast.

Millie: Here you go – French toast, Canadian bacon, and a muffin. Enjoy!

Me: Um, Ma’am! Millie? I think you’ve got me confused with someone else. This is not what I ordered.

Millie: No, I’m not confused. I know that’s not what you ordered. You were pretty clear and I’ve got it all written down right here on your ticket: Santa Fe omelet, extra chiles, red potatoes, sausage, wheat toast.

See, it’s all right here. (Millie shows me the ticket order.)

Me: Then why did you bring me French toast and Canadian bacon? It’s not that I don’t like French toast, I eat it now and again. But, I would never order Canadian bacon. None of this is what I ordered.

Millie: I get all that. It’s not me, it’s him. (She pointed to a man standing near the door to the kitchen.)

I squinted to look at the man as I was not wearing my glasses. Eventually, he came into focus.

Me: Roberts? John Roberts? Chief Justice Roberts? Really, do you always wear a robe? I always figured Supreme Court justices made some decent money. Never would have guessed you needed to earn a few extra bucks as a cook.

Roberts: No, I don’t work here. I was just finishing my breakfast when I heard you order yours.

Me; Um, okay. I didn’t think my order was particularly interesting. Why the interest?

Roberts: No reason, it’s just a hobby.

Me: Okay.

Roberts: I just found that you exhibited a few examples of inartful ordering.

Me: Huh?

Roberts: It just seemed to me that you weren’t very clear about what you were stating. You left your order open to interpretation.

Me: I beg to differ. I believe I was quite clear.

Roberts: Look, I’m the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Me: Yeah, I get that. So, what you’re telling me is that when I said I wanted a Santa Fe omelet, you interpreted that to mean French toast.

Roberts: Yes.

Me: And when I asked for sausages, you interpreted that to mean Canadian bacon.

Roberts: Yes.

Me: And when I ordered toast…?

Roberts: Muffin.

Me; I thought my order was pretty unambiguous and straight forward. Millie, wouldn’t you agree?

Millie: Sure, here’s the ticket.

Roberts: Well, your order, just like any law, doesn’t really mean what you think it means. It only means what I think it means. Besides, if they brought you an omelet, it would have had a disparate impact on eggs. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. I’m the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, I’ve got eggs to protect.

Me: This is ridiculous!

Roberts: Trust me, I’ve had a lot of practice with this.

Me: Yeah, I know. I’ve heard all about the twisted logic you had to employ to uphold Obamacare more than once. Congress said subsidies are only available through the state exchanges and you said no, and then gave them French toast.

Roberts: Pretty much.

Me: This is nuts!

Roberts: This is America.

Me: Not anymore.



1 madmemere { 06.30.15 at 6:04 pm }

Perhaps someone should convince Mrs. Roberts to break a few eggs over John’s head and while she does it, she should explain it’s to “smarten him up”! He doesn’t need to “protect eggs”, nor does he need to “interpret” plain English text.


2 Marcia { 06.30.15 at 6:55 pm }

It is appropriate, since the subject is eggs, to quote from the Chief Egg, since in the present instance he and the Chief Justice have so much in common. “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.'”


3 Quinn Woodworth { 06.30.15 at 8:19 pm }

This was the best comment on the SCOTUS decision and John Robert’s explanation. At least I enjoyed it the most. Thanks.


4 Herbert R. { 07.02.15 at 12:12 pm }

From Bork’s book–“The Tempting of America”–“Disguised or not, the habit of legislating policy from the bench, once acquired, is addictive and hence by no means confined to constitutional cases. The activist or revisionist judge, can no more restrain himself or herself from doing “good” in construing a statute than when he purports to speak with the voice of the Constitution.


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