WASHINGTON - U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts promised court watchers a more “fan friendly judicial branch” as the high court launches a new term today. The most obvious change is that legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer has been named court crier and will start each session with his signature catchphrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble.”
The other major change, inspired by Major League Baseball’s “at-bat” music, is that each Justice will enter the court to introductory music of his or her own choosing. Most justices are keeping their tunes under their robes for now but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed she has selected the theme from “Rocky,” and Justice Antonin Scalia told a reporter he is “just wild about” the folk standard “Pop Goes the Weasel.”
The move is seen by some legal scholars as an attempt to win back fans turned off by the Court’s work stoppage last year. Last spring’s short-lived experiment with a “hot-dog” toss between cases was abadoned when an adult novelty male organ somehow got launched into the gallery instead of an edible wiener, giving certain of the male justices a “complex” because of its size.
Chief Justice Roberts also said that for the first time the court will allow advertisements on the Justice’s robes. First up today: Valvoline, makers of fine automotive lubricants.
Cases on the court’s docket this year include Rabbit v. General Mills in which the Trix rabbit is seeking to overturn a Seventh Circuit decision holding that the cereal behemoth does not engage in discriminatory practices by limiting the popular cereal to kids.
The court will also take up the question of whether burning the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Terrible Towel violates the First Amendment, and whether the Constitution’s Preamble is unconstitutional because it violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause when it calls on blessings from a higher power.
The court will also be asked to abolish the Island of Misfit Toys on the ground that the segregation of toys on the basis of appearance, desirability, or national origin violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.