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Law in Popular Culture

SCOTUS battles Dr. Contempto, issues quick decisions in the Onion’s alternate universe

Posted Mar 28, 2013 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Screenshot from The Onion.

Supreme Court journalists have been hard at work in the past few days, delivering summaries of the court’s gay-marriage arguments on live blogs and in quickly delivered stories.

Then there are the satirical Supreme Court stories by the Onion that rely on the writers’ good imagination rather than keen powers of observation.

According to the Onion, oral arguments on California’s ban on gay marriage were cut short on Tuesday. “Ten minutes into oral arguments over whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry one another,” the Onion says in its imagined account, “a visibly confounded Supreme Court stopped legal proceedings Tuesday and ruled that gay marriage was ‘perfectly fine’ and that the court could ‘care less who marries whom.’ ”

There was another quick decision on Wednesday, but this time the court ruled against gay-marriage supporters and upheld the Defense of Marriage Act, according to the Onion’s fake report. The justices were swayed, the story says, by “the heartfelt and highly personal testimony of a bigot.” The witness reportedly told the justices: “All we’re asking for is basic unfairness. After all, isn’t that what this country is founded on?”

The court apparently went ahead with oral arguments despite a dramatic and deadly encounter last week with “the nefarious Dr. Contempto,” a litigant angered over the loss of an eminent domain case. The judicial branch’s longtime sidekick, Kid Justice, was killed when he vaulted through the air and intercepted a missile launched by Contempto, saving Chief Justice John Roberts from certain death, the Onion says.

The Onion said the deranged genius Contempto has tried to destroy the Supreme Court dozens of times, citing “the notorious incident of replacing several justices with robot duplicates during the 2000 election crisis.”

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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