Justice Amy Coney Barrett: A lot of people think the Supreme Court has a rodent problem. A lot of people see a pack of mice running around the highest court in the land and climbing up people’s robes and doing what looks like fun mouse parkour, and they say, “That looks like a problem.” I don’t think it’s a problem, though. I think, “Those are some pretty talented mice!”
Justice Clarence Thomas: It would be very sad if the Supreme Court were filled with mice all the time, mice who made such a continual racket with their feasting and carousing and carrying-on that it was impossible for us to hear the arguments that were being made in front of us and we had to simply decide them based on our priors. But that is not happening, obviously.
Justice Barrett: There is a difference between having a rodent problem and individual justices bringing their mice with them to work every day and releasing them into the courtroom. You may look at the situation and say, “If the courtroom is always full of mice, what is the difference, exactly?” but I think there is a big difference. One is a problem; the other is a philosophy. [Releases a mouse from her sleeve.] Have fun out there today, Matthias.
Justice Thomas: A rodent problem is institutional. It would destroy us. I will not let that happen, and neither will the capybara I am bringing to work in a fancy little collar so he looks like he is also a justice.
Justice Barrett: I have been asked whether it is relevant that before my lifetime confirmation, I was handpicked by the Mus Musculus Society, an organization dedicated to finding the people most likely to introduce rodents into their workplaces. And as I said during my confirmation hearing, no, it is not relevant. Do I love mice? Yes. Do I bring mice with me to the courtroom when I am deciding things? Often. But a rodent problem? Never. My mice are trained.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor: If you would like to know my opinion, please read my strongly worded dissent, which has coincidentally had several small bites taken out of it by what is obviously a mouse.
Justice Thomas: You may ask why so many of us are making speeches right now insisting that the court does not have a rodent problem. Well, we are all making these speeches coincidentally.
Justice Barrett: [Releasing six more mice.] We did not coordinate about these speeches; it just seems like everyone wants to ask about the rodent thing, and we’re happy to answer about it.
Justice Breyer: Please stop asking about the mice as though there is a problem. Now one more mouse … that might be a problem.