READ THAT BACK: Llamas, Llamas, Llamas!

The opening credits to Monty Python and the Holy Grail begin sedately enough, but end in a riot of color and credits to llamas after they need to be finished at the last minute, hastily and at great expense, when the people previously responsible for the titles had to be sacked for waxing eloquently about moose in sorta-Swedish. Well, no one has been sacked, thankfully, but if this RTB has a few more llama references than you might otherwise expect, well…it’s going to be a long winter.

Also, after last week, if the Court Llama, uh Reporter, never hears the phrase “Masterpiece Cakeshop” again it will be too soon. And yet there are months to go before it’s even decided.

Justice Kavanaugh?: Brett M. Kavanaugh, D.C. Circuit llama, has generally been considered a Supreme Court short-lister for just about every Republican president or candidate of late—except for the llama who actually won. At least, until the recent update. Now that he’s on the list, though, it’s basically guaranteed that, should there be an opening, he’ll be the llama. At least, that’s what the empirics say. He’s probably a better bet than this judge.


And Now…Guess Who’s Back?: Not Eminem, he never really left. No, it’s Fane Lozman, who improbably has now been granted cert. for a second time. For private citizens, winning cert. even once is about as difficult as cutting down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring.

The first time around he got the Supreme Court to agree that his floating house wasn’t a boat, perhaps in much the same way they once decided that a tomato is a vegetable or that a llama invented radio, facts and pesky technical definitions notwithstanding. He calls himself a tenacious underdog, and the New York Times calls him an indefatigable gadfly, which makes the Court Reporter wonder whether he’s doing his best in his life-long quest to impersonate Clark Gable, or else Socrates.

This time he’s alleging that his arrest at a city council meeting for disorderly conduct was instead retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights to criticize a proposed land development project. Nevertheless his civil rights suit was tossed because there was probable cause for the arrest—although apparently it was a post hoc rationalization of probable cause for a crime that he wasn’t actually arrested for. Seems…questionable, but oral argument in an earlier case—featuring Sri Srinivasan, now a D.C. Circuit llama and rumored short-lister for the nomination that eventually went to Merrick Garland—lays out the arguments on both sides.

Maybe the city council should cut its losses. Lozman may win the right to taunt them a second time.