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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cartoon Caption Contest Contest

This week's cartoon caption contest in The New Yorker features the following cartoon:



As far as I can tell, what we have here is a nine-member court watching a ping-pong match between two players also wearing judicial robes. I have been puzzling over this one. Is this a routine nine-member court watching two more judges from some other court, a somewhat unusual eleven-member court, a poorly thought out cartoon, or something else? Your suggestions are welcome--to me if not The New Yorker. 

Posted by Paul Horwitz on March 18, 2014 at 06:15 PM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink


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Something about choosing the next nominee for the Court?

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Mar 18, 2014 6:49:12 PM

The 9th circuit mini en banc?

Posted by: BDG | Mar 18, 2014 7:39:26 PM

Just entered: "The Ninth Circuit should really be split into two."

Posted by: Margaret Ryznar | Mar 18, 2014 9:07:13 PM

You should win the quote contest with that one.

Posted by: Steven R. Morrison | Mar 18, 2014 10:25:03 PM

A friend once suggested sending in a submission to a contest like this something along the lines of: "You know, I just don't find The New Yorker funny any more."

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Mar 18, 2014 10:42:06 PM

"If you have the facts on the side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table tennis ball?"

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Mar 19, 2014 1:01:23 AM

"If you have the facts on the side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table tennis ball?"

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Mar 19, 2014 1:01:24 AM

The phrasing's not great, but something like:

"Looks like the new group of clerks has gotten comfortable."

or maybe

"'Highest table in the land' just doesn't have quite the same ring to it."

Posted by: Chad Oldfather | Mar 19, 2014 6:20:22 AM

I know our government had to sell some assets to the Chinese to pay off our debts, but couldn't they have gotten a piece of the IRS building or something rather than the Supreme Court?

Posted by: Blahblah | Mar 19, 2014 8:44:57 AM

The ball's in the lower court's court?

Posted by: Ronald C. Den Otter | Mar 19, 2014 10:09:31 AM

“... whether the state court’s adjudication of the claim was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States intramural ping pong team.”

Posted by: Marc Falkoff | Mar 19, 2014 10:28:14 AM

How FDR, in his court-packing plan, initially proposed to determine the vitality of justices.

Posted by: lawtalkinguy | Mar 19, 2014 10:42:13 AM

Some great suggestions! (Special mentions to Orin and Chad. Is there some reverse follicular correlation to being funny?) I would just note in support of my "poorly thought out" thesis that the best answers treat the ping-pong players as lawyers, not judges. They should not have been robed, or there should have been seven sitting judges and two empty chairs.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Mar 19, 2014 10:54:23 AM

See, this is why I did not want cameras in the courtroom.

Posted by: JDEswq | Mar 19, 2014 11:40:51 AM

I thought we were coming to judge a moot court.

Posted by: Christine Hurt | Mar 19, 2014 12:38:08 PM

I'm glad Clarence finally spoke up.

Posted by: Michael Teter | Mar 19, 2014 1:14:40 PM

"Wait, what's a 'ball,' and what's a 'strike'?"

Posted by: andy grewal | Mar 19, 2014 3:26:05 PM

"There's gotta be a better way to decide who is assigned to write the tax opinion."

Posted by: andy grewal | Mar 19, 2014 3:33:04 PM

(pardon the sheer unfunniness here)
What's the term for when different federal circuit courts
disagree, and a matter is bumped up to the SCOTUS?

Posted by: Barry | Mar 21, 2014 9:57:52 AM

Circuit split.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Mar 21, 2014 10:00:36 AM

Thanks - somebody, make up a funny caption involving 'circuit split'.

Posted by: Barry | Mar 21, 2014 2:08:53 PM

Now you know why they don't want TV cameras in their court room!

Posted by: Tim Collins | Mar 21, 2014 4:08:43 PM

It's "eleven-all", because it goes to eleven!

Posted by: Tim Collins | Mar 21, 2014 4:13:26 PM

"I wish I was taller."


Posted by: little piggy | Mar 21, 2014 7:54:40 PM

We're working on developing some new sports metaphors. Baseball got a little old.

Posted by: Ann Marie Marciarille | Mar 22, 2014 8:05:36 PM

Why is the woman ping pong player shoe-less?

Posted by: Joe | Mar 23, 2014 12:42:47 PM

With all due respect, "You be the judge, it looks like our fellow judges can't make up their mind."

Posted by: Nancy | Apr 1, 2014 1:18:06 PM

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