Justices Alito and Kagan Play The Game of Clue

by Paul Siciliano


In the final decision from the Supreme Court published this Thursday that I am analyzing (the case is Descamps v. United States ) , Justice Kagan, writing for the majority, and Justice Alito, the lone dissenter, bring up the game of Clue.

The legalities of the case may be a little hard to grasp, but Justice Alito's footnote playfully challenging Justice Kagan's Clue reference, is easier to get.  Alito writes: 

The board game Clue, to which the Court refers, see ante , at 18, does not provide sound legal guidance.  In that game, it matters whether Colonel Mustard bashed in the victim's head with a candlestick, wrench, or lead pipe.  But in real life, the colonel would almost certainly not escape conviction simply because the jury was unable to agree on the particular type of blunt instrument that he used to commit the murder.

Cute.  And despite the complexity of the majority opinion, Justice Kagan is a good read - I like her tone.  You can see the litigator in her.