Supreme Court Justice Says He Often Consulted With His Dog On Decisions

If you were under the impression that decisions on the Supreme Court are made after careful, deliberative study of case-law and precedent, then you may be more than a bit surprised to learn that one member of the high court has used his dog to help him decide difficult cases.

Samuel Alito told D. Brooks Smith, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, that he often bounced ideas off his late springer spaniel, Zeus:

“Late at night when I was thinking about cases I would test out my ideas with Zeus. He generally agreed with me.”

When in desperate need of help, Alito revealed the following method involving Zeus: He would separate the red brief and the blue brief—red is the respondent’s brief, blue is the petitioner’s—both at equal distance from the dog, “put a few dog treats on both,” and “let Zeus go.” Alito added:

“If he went to blue brief, then we would reverse.”

Are you kidding me?! Please don’t get me wrong: I am a lifelong lover of dogs and own a fine Labrador mix who is one of the greatest dogs to ever trod the planet. But I don’t let her write my articles for me. I don’t even let her choose which ones I write.

Then again, if I could double my writing output, I could make more money. Something tells me I could get her to work for a few extra pieces of Pupperoni a day.

But court decisions? How would you like to be on death row and know your fate lay in the paws of a dog? On second thought, that might not be so bad. Dogs have got to be a hell of a lot more compassionate than the conservatives on the Supreme Court.

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