Chief Justice Roberts Depicts a Hard-Boiled Detective in 'Three-Dollar Steak' 'Hood
It reads like a chapter from a hard-boiled detective novel: Narcotics officer Sean Devlin is working undercover in a neighborhood “tough as a three-dollar steak. Devlin knew. Five years on the beat, nine months with the Strike Force. He’d made fifteen, twenty drug busts in the neighborhood.”
But it’s not. This is how U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. began his dissenting opinion today in Pennsylvania v. Dunlap, which is described by the Blog of Legal Times as a standard-issue drug arrest case in which probable cause was the primary concern.
The rest of the dissent, after the first few paragraphs, “is written in routine opinion-speak,” the blog post by Tony Mauro notes.
It offers a possible explanation from attorney and author Paul Levine about the unusual deviation from the Supreme Court’s standard scholarly style:
“My guess is that the Chief lost a bet with Scalia on the baseball playoffs,” says Levine, referring, of course, to Justice Antonin Scalia. “If Roberts wins the next wager, Scalia will have to write an opinion in iambic pentameter.”