The Right Coast

February 22, 2005
Secret Memo reveals Rehnquist to remain CJ after he is dead
By Tom Smith

A secret OLC memo obtained by the Right Coast reveals Bush administration deep legal thinkers are exploring the constitutional implications of a person continuing to be Chief Justice after he has in fact died.

"The Framers believed in an afterlife," explained our unnamed source. "By 'life tenure' (sic) the Constitution is not necessarily referring to one's physical life. The Chief Justice would not be able to appear at oral argument, but he could presumably still read briefs and otherwise participate from whereever he ends up, perhaps Purgatory after all that voter discrimination stuff in Arizona."

The story's credibility is supported by reports that applications for Rehnquist clerkships include questions about mediumship and automatic writing experience. Our unnamed source would only say "we are not taking anything off the table."

Other justices declined to reply to emails requesting comments, except for Justice O'Connor, who allowed as that "back in Rattlesnake Gulch, we had a horse that lived to be 39, which is I don't know maybe 200 in horse years. "

Some originalists are apparently balking at the discussions of the possibility of a dead Chief Justice. "If we're going to be communicating with the dead, why don't we go right to the source and dial up JM [James Madison, co-author of Federalist Papers], that's what I want to know!" commented one former Reagan Administration official, now partner at a Washington consulting firm.

Professor Humboldt van der Smerlandiaorlunksk, paranormal researcher at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research project reports, in a related development, "electronic voice phenomena," or voices detected on blank, unused electronic media, that appear to coming from dead Virginians. "Zee dialect ees authentic 18th century Virgeeean," declared the professor. Indeed, through the static, one can hear what appears to be the phrases "Separation of powers," "limited gov . . . " , and "office." "Eeet ees not clear how vee should interpret these phrases," said the professor.