Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sober as a Judge?

George Will:

"Responding to early 19th-century rumors that they drank excessively, the Supreme Court justices decided to drink nothing on conference days -- unless it was raining.

At the next conference, Chief Justice John Marshall asked Joseph Story to scan the sky for signs of rain. When Story said he saw none, Marshall said: "Our jurisdiction extends over so large a territory that the doctrine of chances makes it certain that it must be raining somewhere -- let us refresh ourselves."


Jonathan Rowe said...

You really need to check out Bob Novak's "The Prince of Darkness" and his stories on Pat Moynihan. I don't condone excessive drinking. However, there are some alcoholics who are extremely functional (and manage to live longish lives to boot). Moynihan was one of them.

His Moyhihan "Shakespear on Shakespear" story is such a hoot; it could be featured in a John Landis movie.

Mark in Spokane said...

Very funny story about the Justices. I remember reading somewhere that the Continential Congress that voted on the Declaration of Independence drank a tremendous amount of beer and spirits during their sessions. A different time!

Tom Van Dyke said...

Now they seem to all be on drugs. That's progress for ya.