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Panel Questions

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Mo, this week saw the first-ever live broadcast of Supreme Court oral arguments. It was done over teleconference. And that means for the first time in the history of this country, in addition to hearing the justices in real time, the nation also heard what?

MO ROCCA: The ultimate dissent - a toilet flush.

ADAM BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That's exactly right, Mo.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Wednesday, during the live broadcast of the oral arguments, everybody on the call - which was all of us - could clearly hear a toilet flushing as a lawyer was speaking. Now, the fact that everybody heard it but nobody said anything means it was absolutely a Supreme Court justice who did it.

HELEN HONG: (Laughter).

ROCCA: And they say that Justice Thomas never reacts from the bench.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It's true. Even more alarming than the toilet flushing is what we did not hear, which was the sound of someone then washing their hands.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now...

ROCCA: Right - that's right.

HONG: Oh, grody.

BURKE: That's...

SAGAL: That's right.

BURKE: That's what the robes are for. And that's why they're black.

SAGAL: Now...

ROCCA: My question is, was this a sitting Supreme Court justice or a standing Supreme Court justice?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: If people are wondering - if we're like, wait a minute; did we make this up? - we actually have the tape. This is what the nation heard as they listened to the highest court in the land.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROMAN MARTINEZ: And what the FCC has said is that when the subject matter...

(SOUNDBITE OF TOILET FLUSHING)

MARTINEZ: ...Of the call ranges to such topics, then the call is transformed. And it's...

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: And I think it's pretty telling. I think we know why they always rule against environmentalists 'cause that's definitely not a low-flow toilet.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD SONG, "FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH")

SAGAL: Coming up, our panelists are not amused in our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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