Looks like the real muscle is hiding under two justices' robes -- perhaps not the ones you'd imagine. Antonin Scalia, certainly a glib show-off if not exactly the strongest justice, is not one of them. Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post:
For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.
As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The acerbic Scalia, the court’s longest-serving justice, got his latest comeuppance Wednesday morning, as he tried to make the absurd argument that Congress’s renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by votes of 98 to 0 in the Senate and 390 to 33 in the House did not mean that Congress actually supported the act. ...Milbank, WaPo
Elena Kagan did the unusual. She strode away from Court etiquette and told Scalia where to shove it.
Sotomayor is no less assertive. She interrupts constantly. She told off one prosecutor for offering racist questions. She and Kagan went after one Alabama lawyer while Scalia and Alito tried to help him out. Scalia tried to shut the ladies up but failed.
Scalia was not about to surrender his title of worst-behaved justice. He mocked the civil rights law as he questioned the government lawyer. “Even the name of it is wonderful,” he said. “The Voting Rights Act: Who is going to vote against that?” (Verrilli cautioned him not to ignore actual votes of Congress in favor of “motive analysis.”)
But Scalia’s mouth was no longer the loudest in the room. When the Alabama county’s lawyer returned for his rebuttal, he managed to utter only five words — “Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice” — before Sotomayor broke in. ...Milbank, WaPo
Oh, these uppity wimmins! Finally we have justices on the Court who are not only acknowledged to be brilliant lawyers but who are willing to go after the Court Nazis.