Justice Breyer’s Public Undressing

Justice Stephen G. Breyer unwittingly sparked mass tittering at the U.S. Supreme Court this morning when one of his stream-of-consciousness questions went a little off course.

It was during the oral argument in a high-profile case over whether the strip search of a 13-year-old schoolgirl was constitutional. School officials in Safford, Ariz., suspected the girl, Savana Redding, of hiding prescription-strength pills on her person, possibly in her underwear.

Breyer was attempting to put a hypothetical question to the girl’s lawyer about how common it is for students to be partially undressed while at school, such as when they are changing for gym class.  But, as the transcript shows, it all went a bit wrong.

“So what am I supposed to do? In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day, we changed for gym, okay? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear.”

He stopped in his tracks as the entire courtroom dissolved into laughter. Then he attempted to dig himself out:

“Or not my underwear. Whatever. Whatever. I was the one who did it? I don’t know.”

Whether or not the question was purely hypothetical remains unknown.

Published by

Lawrence Hurley

Reporter based in Washington

8 thoughts on “Justice Breyer’s Public Undressing”

  1. Love it. Maybe this type of stream-of-consciousness fear is why Thomas never says anything from the bench?

  2. wow – it sounds like he was re-living some sort of unpleasant childhood experience from the bench.

    its just this sort of stellar reasoning that strengthens my confidence in the highest court of our Nation.

  3. It is absolutely ridiculous that such an outrageous case…… that involving a the strip search of a 13 year old girl by sadistic educrats, would even occur in the USA (a presumably “free country”) in the first place. To add insult to injury, legal council for the educrat perpetrators have appealed a court ruling all the way up to the Supreme Court. If things couldn’t get any more twisted, we have Justice Breyers absurd commentary for the record. Excluding the holocaust, we grow more and more like the national socialist “Nazi” third reich with each passing day.

Comments are closed.