A group of us were having a cookout in K.K. Bigelow's back yard. The guests were equally divided between those who believed that they should have a choice about how their hamburgers were cooked and those who maintained that there was only one way to cook them.
When Bigelow, a pro-choice lawyer, asked everyone whether they wanted them rare, medium or well done, Keith Fulk, an anti-choice advocate, declared that Bigelow had no right to tell his guests what kind of grilled hamburgers were available.Bigelow retorted, "I can too, as long as there is no government money involved. When it comes to meat, many people need guidance about what's cooking. I'm not just talking about hamburger - I'm talking about mustard, relish and sliced onions. Each burger must be treated as an individual problem."
Dave Miller, a vegetarian lawyer (almost everyone who shows up at a cookout in Washington is a lawyer), took exception to Bigelow's response.
"Everything in this town involves federal money. That chopped steak was U.S. government inspected. Therefore, a citizen cannot advise another on how to eat it."
Waldorf answered, "The Supreme Court. If you recall, in MacDonald's vs. Burger Chef, MacDonald's planned to open a free hamburger advisory service for members of the public who couldn't make up their minds.
"Burger Chef objected, saying that such a service would require tax dollars and, since it was aimed at teenagers, would be unfair competition.
"The court ruled in favor of Burger Chef by five to four, with Justice Souter casting the swing vote."
Pro-choice advocate Virginia -New-house said bitterly, "With Souter on the bench, we'll never have freedom of choice at a cookout again."
"Why did Souter vote for the other side?"
"Because he's not married - and everyone knows he hates cookouts," David Turner, another lawyer, explained.
S. David Brookes said, "Then let's get him married. If he's married, he won't have time to spend on so many stupid Supreme Court decisions."
Teitelbaum, who was also a "guess-what," laughed, "You can't force a Supreme Court justice to marry if he doesn't want to."
"As I see it," Newhouse said, "the pro-choice people have to take a stand. If we don't raise our voices now, then freedom of speech has had it. Heaven knows where the Supreme Court will go next."
"What are you trying to say?"
"They could soon rule that we can't ask for guidance concerning what topping we're allowed to have on our pizzas," Newhouse told the group.
"They would be right," said anti-choice guest Bill Reinbeck. "Everyone knows that the only good topping for pizza is pepperoni."