Justice Scalia, Jack Benny, and Dried Fruit

March 20th, 2013

From arguments today in 12-123. Horne v. Department of Agriculture:

JUSTICE SCALIA: Yes, but part of that penalty was, you know, your raisins or your life, right? I mean, it was -­


JUSTICE SCALIA: — you don’t have to pay the penalty if you give us the raisins.

If you don’t get the reference, during oral arguments in NFIB over the Medicaid provision, Scalia referenced the classic Jack Benny bit, “Your money or your life.”

Fittingly, the “Your Money or Your Life” bit came from a classic episode of the Jack Benny Show, first aired on March 28, 1948—exactly 64 years to the date of the Medicaid oral arguments (random factoid you’ll find in my book).

And I’m not sure if Kagan was trying to make a pun on “outdated” (Date, get it), but Lyle seems to think so (based on the laughter at least):

And now, the Ninth Circuit can go and try to figure out whether this marketing order is a taking or it’s just the world’s most outdated law.