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Friday Fun Day: Conservative Cred, Rappers v. SCOTUS, Dogs Out

By William Peacock, Esq. on June 13, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's quittin' time in three hours around these parts, which means one thing: running the clock out like an NFL team with the lead. You don't want to think, do you? (If you do, check out our coverage from earlier this week -- it's fun and informative!)

Instead, let's have a little bit of fun with a roundup of some Supreme Court-related things we've stumbled upon across the Internet this week, including Jay Z v. Scalia, calculating your conservative credentials, and a peek at what's to come in the next two weeks:

'If Skills Sold, Truth be Told / I'd Probably be / Lyrically Talib Kweli'

That line, a personal favorite from Jay-Z's "Moment of Clarity," was part of the rapper's assertion that had he not cared about listeners' comprehension and selling records, that he could rap with the most skilled, and most verbose. Interestingly enough, in a recent study done by Matt Daniels, Jay-Z only narrowly lost to Kweli, with 4,506 words used in his first 35,000 lyrics, compared to Kweli's 4,703.

William Shakespeare would be at 5,170.

Slate, earlier this week, did something incredible: it ran the same test with Supreme Court justices, with these notable findings:

  • Justice Scalia beat Shakespeare and all eight of his bench-mates in terms of percentage of unique words used.
  • Former Justice Holmes slayed everyone, with 21 percent uniqueness in his vocabulary.
  • Justice Kennedy brought up the rear, with barely more than 10 percent uniqueness, despite his painfully verbose writing. (He did, however, beat DMX, who barks a lot in his songs.)
  • Chief Justice John Marshall was the least unique snowflake of all time, at 8.7 percent uniqueness.
  • As for Jay-Z, he'd rank behind Scalia, Tomas, and Kagan, but ahead of the rest of the Court.

Of course, many would argue that having a big vocabulary isn't indicative of good writing, but simpler, more comprehensible writing is. How does one test that?Stay tuned folks: after the term ends, we're going to give it a shot.

Which Conservative Are You?

You may not identify as a conservative, but if you were, which would you be? Kennedy, the swing vote who sides with the liberals? Scalia, who usually doesn't, but really cares about the Fourth Amendment? Or Alito, the diehard?

The Washington Examiner has a test to determine exactly that. Who did I get? None other than the verbose, yet lyrically limited, Justice Kennedy.

The Dogs Are Out

Over at The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin is celebrating the release of the "dogs," the snooze-worthy cases we made light of yesterday and earlier this term. The remaining seventeen cases are apparently much more fascinating, and he has his own list of cases to watch. Which ones did we miss in our own "what's left" post?

  •  ABC v. Aereo: Does the startup company have to pay the networks for rebroadcasting their allowing users to rebroadcast the networks' video over the Internet?
  • Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA: Can the EPA regulate coal plants and greenhouse gasses?
  • Harris v. Quinn: A complicated case involving the unionization of home healthcare workers that could be huge for collective bargaining.

Check out his previews, our previews, and prepare yourself: these next two weeks are going to be fun.

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