Photo Credit: frankpierson's photostream per Creative Commons license.

Photo Credit: frankpierson’s photostream per Creative Commons license.

A Supreme Court Justice, a Circuit Judge, and District Judge go duck hunting together. A large flock flies over the three jurists at a very high altitude, but just within reach of their fancy shotguns.

Of course, the Justice goes first.  As the Justice aims the shotgun, she ponders the broad policy implications of shooting ducks. How will the environment be impacted? After ruminating on that subject, and concluding that the harm is de minimis, the Justice shoots and misses.

The Circuit judge goes next. As the Circuit judge pumps the shotgun, he applies a five-part test to determine whether shooting ducks is consistent with the precedents. After concluding that the analytic favors shooting, the Circuit Judge discharges the weapon but misses badly.

Immediately thereafter, and without any hesitation, the District Judge shoots and two plump bodies thump into the water near the blind.  As the other two marvel at the District Judge’s prowess, and offer their hearty congratulations, the deadeye jurist exclaims: “I sure hope those damn things are ducks!”


PS Thanks to a Nebraska Admiral, an ugly truck owner and, indirectly, Justice Sotomayor.

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