Â Â Once exchange that received a lot of attention from Tuesday’s Supreme Court session was between Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., JusticeÂ Antonin Scalia, and Justice Elena Kagan. Â TheÂ transcript available at PoliticoÂ records the exchange as follows:
6 JUSTICE KAGAN: And this is especially true,
7 isn’t it, General -Â
8 GENERAL VERRILLI: â€” because that’s the
9 judgment Congress has made.
10 JUSTICE KAGAN: â€” Verrilli, because in this
11 context, the subsidizers eventually become the
13 GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, that was the point
14 I was trying to make, Justice Kagan, that you’re young
15 and healthy one day, but you don’t stay that way. And
16 the â€” the system works over time. And so I just don’t
17 think it’s a fair characterization of it. And it does
18 get back to, I think â€” a problem I think is important
19 to understand -Â
20 JUSTICE SCALIA: We’re not stupid. They’re
21 going to buy insurance later. They’re young and â€” and
22 need the money now.
“We’re not stupid” appears to be a rather harsh come back from Scalia, and perhaps even defensive or petulant. Â The problem is, that is not what Scalia said. Â A careful listening of the audio reveals that Scalia said “These people [the young and healthy] are not stupid.” Â The Daily Caller, who hasÂ linked to the audioÂ and originally repeated the same mistake (as evidenced by the URL of the Daily Caller link: “were-not-stupid/”,) has now corrected their transcript. Â But a Google search of the past 24 hours (as of 9:30 AM Wednesday) returns 2,680 hits on “we’re not stupid” and only 103 on “people are not stupid“.) Â EvenÂ DrudgeÂ as of this same time (seeÂ screenshot) still had “We’re not stupid…” linking to the Daily Caller story. This is a good example of how an urban legend can get started. Â We’ll see how well the media does today in correcting themselves.
Jeryl Bier blogs atÂ Speak With Authority