A 36-Line “Breyer Page” in FERC Case

October 14th, 2015

One of my hobbies is reading through Supreme Court oral argument transcripts, and chronicling Justice Breyer’s verbose statements (not really questions). Occasionally, Justice Breyer will speak, uninterrupted, for an entire page in the transcript. I call this the “Breyer page.” In Bond, he spoke for 38 lines uninterrupted. He went 32 lines in Medtronic v. Boston Scientific Corp. He had 35 lines in EPA v. EME Homer. Alas, only 27 lines in Zivotofsky.

Today in arguments in FERC v. Electric Power Supply Assn. (a case made for SGB), we had a 36-line soliloquy that stretched over three pages. My favorite sentence was “Every reduction in demand for a unit of retail electricity is ipso facto a demand for a reduction of a unit of wholesale electricity, and vice versa.” It is much tougher than it looks to use the phrases ipso facto and vice versa in the same sentence.

At the end of line 36, there was no question. Paul Clement, bless his heart, managed to give an answer. He was shortly thereafter interrupted by Justice Breyer.



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H/T Sean Marotta