First Monday in October (1981) - full transcript

Ruth Loomis becomes the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. A staunch conservative, she immediately runs into conflict with Dan Snow, the high court's resident liberal. Although, they never agree on the issues before the Court, they develop a respect and affection for one another after several comedic encounters.

Yes, that's right. The whole court is in turmoil.

Couldn't have happened at a more inconvenient time.

No, Dan doesn't know.

That's why I'm calling you. I've got to get through to him right away.

Just a moment.

Excuse me, Mr. Chief Justice. This is the file you asked for.

Thank God I caught you, Christine. Any idea where he went?

What makes you think I'd know where he is?



No, he's not here.

I just walked through the door, CJ.

Where have you been?

Europe, as usual.

Stanley left some instructions that involve Dan.

And I've gotta find him.

He surprised the hell out of me in Brussels.

He sent me a postcard.

The only part I can make out is "Dear Christine."

At least I think that's "Dear." You know what his handwriting is like.

Then there's something here about climbing a mountain.

Did he happen to mention which mountain?

See that peak straight ahead?

That's where we'll be tomorrow at this time.

Grab a couple of lungs full of this.

Pity the poor bastards in the cities who
don't get to taste real air anymore.

Can we take a rest?

Another 30 minutes.

I know a great place for lunch.

Just hold on, I'm looking for it.

"D. Snow." Would that be it?

CJ: That's it.

Mr. Snow is a justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Do you have a number there where we could call you back?

I do. I do indeed.

Area code 202, 252-3271.

Hello. Do you read? Over.

Yes, I read you.

Press the button to talk.

The little one on the top. With your thumb, there.

Hello? Hello? Come in, please. Come in, please.

D an.

Patching you through on another channel.

Go ahead, Highport.

CJ: Do you hear me there? Hello?

Dan Snow here. Is that you, CJ?

We need you back here, Dan.

Couldn't hear that. Say it again, will you, CJ?

Stanley Morehead died this morning.

Are you still there, Dan?

I say Stanley Morehead died this morning.

I'm still here. I heard you.

You gotta press to talk.

Honor you, CJ.

Tell Alice I'm sorry.

How fast can you get back here?

You see, Stanley asked if...




Hello? Hello Jeff?

Up here these CB patches pick up a lot of DX noise.

You want me to try getting him again?

No, that's okay. We'll be getting downhill.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

"Thou anointest my head with oil.

"My cup runneth over.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

"all the days of my life

"and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

I don't really know...

When Stanley left instructions that he wanted me to, uh,

what do you call it... Say a few words.

I was surprised.

Mr. Justice Morehead and I disagreed on a lot of things in our lifetimes,

and I guess it's only natural that we keep right on disagreeing.

I know seven other men who could do this better,

but I'm not about to file a dissenting opinion.

Stanley Morehead was a gentleman of honest mind.

You can't say that about many men in this city

in this century.

Stanley and I were like a pair of flying buttresses.

Leaning against opposite sides of a Gothic cathedral

we helped keep the roof from caving in.

If we'd both been on the same side all the time,

we might have pushed the building over.

You don't have to agree with a man in order to respect him.

Stanley and I had one argument over and over again.

I never won. I never could win.

He used to ask me,

"What in God's name is the practical use of mountain climbing?"

One time I said to him,

"Well, on a mountaintop, maybe you're a little bit closer to God."

He laughed and said, "Dan, what the hell do you know about God?"

I do know this.

Mr. Justice Stanley Morehead is not in any box

about to be covered by earth.

He's at the top of a mountain higher than I have ever climbed.


Ready. Aim.



Aim... Fire!

Ready... Present arms!


CHRISTINE: I think we should have hired a limousine, like the others.

DAN: Nonsense. The fresh air will do you good.

Alice looked awful. You know what burns me?

Toda y' s Starbrushed off Stanley's whole life with two inches.

And printed two full pages of smart-ass
speculation about his replacement.

DAN: I'll bet it's a surprise. Somebody nobody thought of.

CHRISTINE: She doesn't have many close friends.

D A N: It's always a surprise. Especially for the guy who gets capped.

CHRISTINE: Maybe I'll plan a small
dinner party for her after we get settled.

DAN: When the President gave me the nod, I was so surprised

I couldn't talk for a week.

CHRISTINE: I don't think I could stand

one of those terrible teas with all those wives.

Could be anybody.

A lot of good men around.

A lot of lousy ones, too.

If I were Alice, I'd go to Europe.

The warm part.

How was Europe?


How was your mountain?


You have any idea who's going to be appointed?

To what?

The court.

I never try to second-guess a president.

Man moves into the White House,

you have no idea what happens to his mind.

I just hope he has an active membership card in the human race.


Wa l do. Hi, Ted.

Always feels like the first day of school, doesn't it?

Hope I never graduate.

I don't know what we'd do without you, Dan.

Morning, Radabaugh. Anything happens?

Everything that's happened is on your desk, Mr. Justice Snow.

Still got the same cold?


DAN: Who's there?

Mason Woods, sir.

May I come in, sir?

Of course you can come in. What the hell do you think you're here for?

Thank you, sir.

And you don't have to knock.

It's highly unlikely you'll ever catch me on the couch with Ms. Radabaugh.

Yes, sir.

I've only got one complaint about you.

You're too goddamn polite.

Stop being scared of me, Mason. You got the job.

Yes, sir.

Uh, would you care for some tea, Mr. Justice, or a scotch?

Maybe I'd better have both.

No, I don't wanna overdo it. Forget the tea.

Um, now this supports your position

on Abbot vs. Omnitech.

Forget Omnitech.

But that's at the top of the order list.

It's gonna get struck.


Because my brave brethren on the court

are too chicken-hearted to hear it, that's why.

When I'm getting ripped off, Mason,
I want to know who's doing the ripping.

How much can these multinational monsters get away with?

I don't know, and neither do you.

Because they keep hiding behind all those TV commercials

saying how goddamn holy they are.

Even the CJ is scared to hear Omnitech.

He says, "It's like telling God

"you want to examine the books."

Peace, up to a point.

I tell you, Mason.
The most dangerous thing in the world is to be cautious.

People are always falling down the ones
who are afraid they'll trip over something.

Take a chance. And it is, sir.

And don't always agree with me.

If you think I'm wrong and don't say so,

then what the hell good are ya?

I like law clerks who argue with me. Yes, sir.

No, sir.

I mean I'll try to do that, sir.

Not to do that, sir. What's this?

This is Collins vs. California.

It's a kinky one that came up from the Ninth Circuit.

The Berkeley student who wore a T-shirt that said,
"Fuck the White House."

Did he have his pants off?

It doesn't say.

Well then, I don't see any clear and present danger

that he intended to implement the opinion of his T-shirt.

Well, the Ninth Circuit held it was "offensive to the public sensibility."

Just being offensive is not an offense.

One man's pornography may be another man's poetry. Yes, sir.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Lady purity, speaking from the cloisters of California.

"Free speech is not ipso facto filthy speech.

"Dirt is a splendid environment for earthworms,

"but it is a grave for the human mind."

I wish to hell she didn't write so goddamn well!

You see, Mason? That's what this court is for.

T o restrain the Ruth Loomises of the world.

Sir, I found this opinion on surveillance.

But you won't have to read it.

Won't he?

You wrote it.

Well, read it to me.

I might have forgotten it or changed my mind.

"When God created the world,

"he did it alone, in private. All by himself.

"No monitors, no hidden microphones.

"He made it the way he wanted it.

"But what if someone had invaded God's privacy?

"Would he have put the world together the same way?

"I doubt it. He would've made it a popular world.

BOTH: "And the Garden of Eden would have turned out

"like Las Vegas or 42nd Street."


Would you like to take any calls, sir?

Uh, Ms. Radabaugh will get that.


No, she won't.

Chambers of Mr. Justice Snow.


Yes, Mrs. Snow.

It's your wife but she doesn't want to bother you.

You 're not bothering me. You're interrupting me,
but you're not bothering me.

How should I seat them this evening?

I don't care how you seat 'em. Try chairs.


Hello? Hello?

What happened to Radabaugh?

She left early.


She looked terrible.

Radabaugh's been with me for 23 years,

and she always looks terrible.

How do you do that, sir? Do what?

Well, you reach in there and find exactly what you're looking for.

In the middle of all that... All that... M ess?

To you it's a mess. To me, it's a wilderness of free association.

Don't ever straighten up my desk, Mason.

I'd never be able to find anything.

Always been suspicious of neatness.

If there's nothing on top of a man's desk,

he's probably shoved all the clutter into the drawers.

And if his drawers are empty, what the hell does he need a desk for?

May I come in, Dan? Sure, CJ.

How are you, Mr. Chief Justice?

Uh, I'm not sure.

Mind if I lie down on your couch?

Mason, see if those T-shirts are available on the open market.

I'd like to wear one under my robe.

What T-shirts?

None of your goddamn business.

Do I ask you about your underwear?

How come your couches are much more comfortable than mine?

You know something, CJ?

Maybe I'll give you that couch

as a going-away present.

Who's going away?

Think of how many people would bust a gut with joy if I retired.

Nah, you wouldn't do that to me, Dan.

Oh, I won't quit when you're short-handed.

I'll wait until you've got nine men on the bench again.

Yeah. Hmm.

Who's the President going to pick?

He's already been appointed?

Who is he?

Mr. Justice Snow, I'm gonna have to ask you to rephrase that question.

A woman.

He picked a woman.


Good for him. It'll be fun.

Who is it? Who is she? Who? Who?

The President has just sent up to the Senate Judiciary Committee

the name of Judge Ruth Hagador Loomis,

of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Get off my couch. I have to lie down.

Now... Now, Dan.

You're joking. It's a joke. It's a joke, isn't it?

The President, I am told, thinks he has made

a great, progressive step in the history of mankind.

Ruth Loomis? The mother superior of Orange County?

What goes through a man's head when
he makes an appointment like that?

Guess he was trying to be evenhanded.

President of all the people.

The Senate'll never go for it. Will they? Will they?

Forget it.



Where's Ms. Radabaugh?


Chambers of Mr. Justice Snow.

It's a reporter. Any comment for The Washington Post?

No comment from Mr. Justice Snow at this time.

You're better than Ms. Radabaugh.

The President wants a woman on the court,
why not pick Ms. Radabaugh.

She'd be perfect. She'd never show up.

Jeff, why in God's name do I get a sinking feeling in my gut every time

I think about that woman sitting on this court?

It's not because she's a woman.

I like women. My wife's a woman.

The bench will smell better with a little perfume on it.

But Ruth Loomis...


How can you just let it ring?

Telephone has no constitutional right to be answered.

Don 't pay any attention to it. It'll go away.


I hear she plays tennis.

Hitler played the harmonica.

Oh, she may not be so bad.

She's young.

We could use some young blood around here.

And she isn't stupid.

Fix yourself a drink.

I just might do that.


Here she is now. Come in.

Is it true?

Jack Anderson's on the phone.

Would either of you care to say anything to him?

Yes. Ask him where I'm spending my vacation next summer.

I don't know, but he probably does.

I'll just tell him neither of you is available for comment.

How does a newspaperman like Jack Anderson

find out what happens in the Oval Office so fast?

Simple. He's got a friend in the Soviet embassy.

And I'm 10 minutes late.

Only one thing, Dan. Before you consider resigning.

Resigning? Who the hell's gonna resign?

You think I'd leave you here alone and get sprayed down

by the Lysol lady of Orange County?

And if that holy junta at the White House

picked her to replace Stanley Morehead,

who in God's name do you suppose they'd send up to take my seat?

Shirley Temple?


BILL: Change sides. I'll let you take the sun for a while.

Not bad for a beginner, am I?

When are you gonna let me take you some place where I can win?

Don' t you think a year is long enough to be a practicing widow?

Seven months. Don't rush me.

Am I on the list?

You're at the top.

PUBLIC ANNOUNCER: Judge Loomis, telephone.

Long distance call for Judge Loomis.

Sorry, Bill.

SENATOR: I'm sorry these proceedings are taking so much time

but we're breaking ground here.

And I trust the committee's questions

aren't embarrassing you, Judge Loomis.

I don't embarrass easily, Senator.


Judge Loomis?

Judge Loomis, about your interests and equities,

would they influence your decisions on the high court?

The financial statement in front of you is complete, Senator.

When I was appointed to the Ninth Circuit,

I disposed of anything that might possibly raise

a question of conflict of interest.

Thank you.

But you were still married to a very active

and successful corporation lawyer.

Was I expected to dispose of him?


According to this FBI report,

you and your husband were partners
in the law firm of Loomis and Loomis.

Excuse me, Senator. Why do you keep bringing up my husband?

When I was appointed to the federal bench,

he took over the entire practice.

It was a tremendous burden on him.

It's probably what killed him.

Did you ever represent Omnitech International or its chairman,

Donald Richards?

No, Senator.

You're quite sure about that?

RUTH: Quite sure.

SENATOR: After you left, is it possible that the firm represented him?

I'd have no knowledge of that.

And since your husband's death,
you've had no contact with any member of that firm?

RUTH: None. Oh, that's not quite true.

I do play tennis once in a while with Bill Russell.

W illiam Russell.

H e joined the firm after I went to the bench.

SENATOR: Do you ever discuss legal business with him?

No, Senator.

Do you think perhaps,

you're a little too young, Judge Loomis,

to take these responsibilities on yourself?

As I recall,

Mr. Justice Snow was a year younger than I am

when he was appointed to the court.



Do you feel your decisions on the High Court

might be influenced by the fact that...

Well, you're a woman?

I hope so.

Uh, aren't a man's decisions influenced by the fact that he's a man?

For two centuries, this court has expressed men's opinions.

And perhaps it's time for the majority of the population

to have one voice in nine in the rulings of the Supreme Court.

SENATOR: Is the lady implying

that male justice is perverted?

RUTH: Haven't we outgrown those fears about the periodic instability

of the female of the species?

Eggs are not the seeds of insanity.

A woman can ovulate and think at the same time.


SENATOR: We're striving to be objective.

Yes, but really, what does sex have to do

with being a judge?

Somebody with the capacity to bear children

is gifted, not crippled.

A uterus is like absolute pitch,

some people have it, some don't.

Well, according to this fact sheet,

Judge Loomis has never had any children.

Yes, but does the Constitution say that a
Supreme Court Justice has to be a mother?


Judge Loomis, we don't mean to probe into your personal life...

Why not? My entire life is public.

The FBI is wrong in reporting to you that I have no children.

I have hundreds.

We are the parents of our ideas,

and, uh, so my children,

in other words, my opinions, my decisions,

are the result of conception,

and the delivery is sometimes painful.

You may not like my children.

You may find them ugly,

but, by God, your ideas and mine

have equal rights to live together,

to grow, to change, even to die.

If there are no further questions,

the committee will consider an executive session

where we'll recommend to the full body of the Senate.

Thank you, Judge Loomis.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Now let's check it just once more.

Mr. Justice Carey is now on this end.

That's correct. Then Mr. Justice Webb.

Webb. Mr. Justice Quincy.

That's him. Mr. Justice Snow.

That's right. The CJ stays in the center, of course.

Then Mr. Justice Halperin. O kay.

Mr. Justice Clewes.

That's him. Mr. Justice Thompson.

That's right. And the new chair for Justice Loomis

on this end. That's correct.

Does a lady need this?

We'll tell her it's a wastebasket.

Good afternoon.

Welcome to Washington, Justice Loomis.

Thank you. Everything's ready.

Great. Oh, is the phone in?

Ah, yes. The man left an hour ago.



Ready for your coronation?

Bill? And it is.

How did you get this number? I don't even know it.

Well, I do. If it ever slips your mind, just give me a ring.

In the bedroom, please.

In the bedroom?

I'm talking to the bellman, you idiot.

It's sweet of you to call.

I just wanted to be the first man in recorded history

to ask a Supreme Court Justice for a date.

So noted. The clerk will put it on the docket.

That'll take two years!

Not now that I'm in charge.

Mr. Agronsky?

Whenever you're ready.

Tape is rolling.

This is an historic day for the nation

and for the Supreme Court of the United States.

The court has been in session

since the first Monday in October,

which, according to the Judiciary Act of 1789,

marks the start of a new term each year.

No camera has ever photographed

the traditional robing ceremony

in the sanctum sanctorum of the court,

and none is there today.

Since the death of Justice Stanley Morehead,

this has been an eight-man court,

which as Justice Daniel Snow has pointed out,

resembles a four-man basketball team.

Today the vacancy has been filled.

But this still remains an eight-man court.

Well, where is she?

May be we ought to sound the warning buzzer a little sooner.

I suppose she has things to do that we don't.

After all, I don't have anything to do with my hair.

AGRONSKY: This is an historic occasion.

Like the Jesuits going coed.

Suppose she'll wanna hang chintz curtains everywhere?

I hate chintz.

Why am I nervous? She's the one who should be nervous.

Now, gentlemen, things are not going to be any different

from the way they've been every two
minutes to 10 in the history of the court.

Now we've got to think of her exactly as one of the brothers.

Good morning.

Justice Loomis, welcome.

W elcome to the court. Thank you.

Good morning. Good morning, ma'am.

Thank you for the lovely roses.


You don't send me roses anymore, CJ.

It's 9:58, gentlemen and Madam Justice.

We shake hands like this every day.

Every morning just before we take the bench.

Like nine boxers coming in to a ring.

We shake hands before we knock each other out.



The honorable, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices

of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Oh yep, whoz, thatz.

All persons having business

before the honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States

are admonished to draw near and give their attention,

for the Court is now sitting.

God save the United States and this honorable Court.

CJ: Today's orders o f the Court

have been certified by the Chief Justice filed with the clerk

and will not be announced orally.

Probably the peak of every lawyer's career

is that moment when he is presented and accredited to plead

before the highest court in the land.

Only lawyers ever plead in that hallowed chamber.

But today, all eyes are focused on the court's newest newcomer

who has just received confirmation from the Senate of the United States.

Court watchers will be fascinated in the weeks and months ahead

by the figure in the leather chair farthest to the left

of the Chief Justice.

How will this feminine presence

affect what for two centuries

has been an all-male preserve?

Because so many states

have accepted pornography as a way of life

does not mean that we are willing

to compromise our values

in the sovereign state of Nebraska.

Ergo, I beseech this distinguished body,

in its infinite and scholarly wisdom,

to uphold exalted standards of morality

which this lofty court so fervently advocates.

And how rare it is to find judicial minds

so attuned to the higher reaches of the spirit.

So understanding of the basic values

we so dearly cherish.

So incredibly sensitive to the deep strains of decency

which constitute the lapping tidewaters

of our heritage.

The state of Nebraska

contends that Herbert G. Maloney,

knowing and willfully,

perpetrated an obscene and foul...

Your time is up.

May I be permitted... C J: No.

Any questions, gentlemen?

Madam Justice?

I get the impression that the state of Nebraska

would like to see this film confiscated, burned,

and the ashes sent into space. Is that the idea?

If the court so recommended.

Is it your contention that the Constitution

gives this court any such power?

This court is the judge of its own power.

Until we actually examine the film in question, I think that...

May it please the court.

I respectfully submit that my client's rights under the First Amendment...

Thee First Amendment doesn't give anybody the right

to commit acts which are harmful to the public good.

But this is an educational film.

A major documentary, a work of art.

How can we judge that until we've seen it.

Do any of the justices object,

besides Justice Snow?

I think it's essential that we see the film.

All right then. The clerk will schedule a showing of the film

at some future date which is not in conflict

with the schedule already on the calendar.




NARRATOR: If you saw Lois walking along

in the sunshine of Beverly Hills,

you might think she was just a healthy, ordinary girl.

But Lois has a problem.

Like the alcoholic who cannot stop with one drink,

like the compulsive eater

who must consume one dessert after another,

Lois can never be satisfied,

can never get enough of what she craves.


Why isn't Mr. Justice Snow here?

He never comes to these showings.

NARRATOR: The average young woman wants one man,

but Lois is insatiable.


Have we missed much?

The lady's just getting started.

You guys get over there.

And shut the door.


NARRATOR: We asked a distinguished physician

to give his opinion of Lois' condition.

H e has asked that his name be withheld

because of his high standing in the medical profession.

Dr. X, from the point of view of a man of science,

what can be done for Lois?

This sort of affliction is difficult to treat.

Let's look at the other sex as Lois sees them.

Oh, let's not.

NARRATOR: Can Lois ever be cured?

Or is she doomed to a life

of ever-increasing frustration?

I don't know about Lois, but I'm cured.

Haven't we seen enough?

NARRATOR: During the next hour

we'll try to show you...

No, I don't think so.

Projectionist, stop the film, please.


Thank you. Does anyone object?

No. Not me.

Mr. Chief Justice, are you stopping the film

because there's a woman in the room?

No, no. That's not why I'm uncomfortable.

You think I'm offended? Of course I'm offended,

but that's no reason to stop the film, is it?

CJ, just a moment, please.

Madam Justice Loomis, as a man,

I am somewhat embarrassed that you
have to sit here and watch this thing.

I certainly can understand how Harold feels.

I wouldn't want to sit through it with my wife

or arrange a special showing for Mother's Day.

But your wife and your mother haven't been appointed to this court.

Time is the point, gentlemen and Madam Justice.

And we have a responsibility not to waste it.

I have seen enough to make my decision.

JUDGES: Me, too. Yes.

I do apologize, Justice Loomis.


Something is very wrong here.

You're all so polite to me.

I'm not being too outspoken, am I?

No. No.

No, we want you to speak up. Speak right out.

Raise hell, if you want to.

You may be sorry you said that. [SNICKERS]

Actually, I do have one question. Oh.

How can Mr. Justice Snow pass judgment on something

without even seeing it?

Hasn't he virtually disqualified himself on Maloney?

Would you like to suggest that to Justice Snow?

I don't think that's one of my privileges. Isn't it yours?

Well, yes, I suppose it is.

And, Mr. Chief Justice, I'd like to examine the rest of the film.

If you don't mind.

Just to see if there's a shred of redeeming social or artistic value.

Project ionist. Would you continue the film, please?

Thank you.


5:30 will be fine.

Howdy, Ben.

Good afternoon, Mr. Justice.

How are you felling?

Just fine, thank you. Just fine.

How's Esther?

Better and better.


The usual, Mr. Justice?



Hi, Waldo.

I just want you to know I'm not gonna support Madam's motion.

What kind of a motion is she making?

Oh, I thought you knew.

Knew what?

You better get it from CJ.

We'll do this later, Ben.

Yes, sir.

Hi, Dan. Missed you at lunch.

What's she up to? What's who up to?

How many "she's" do we have on the Court?

Oh, that. Well it's just that a question came up.

Or more accurately, a suggestion was made. Y eah?

Well, what it amounts to is, uh...

Should, uh...

Should attendance be obligatory

at these obscenity screenings?

Who wasn't there besides me?

Oh, house was packed.

What's your beef?

Well, the lady wonders

whether a justice who hasn't seen any part of the film

hasn't in effect...

She wants me to disqualify myself

because I won't go down there

and sit through that pile of crap? Uh, well...

So it's crap. What if it is crap? That's not the point.

Crap's got the right to be crap.

Drop the legal language, Dan.

Are you as Chief Justice

suggesting that I disqualify myself from voting on Maloney?

No. I'm merely suggesting that, uh...

It's been suggested.

Where are you going?

I've got a present for Madam Justice.

Not roses.

And have a look at US v. Albertson, 1954.

It's in volume 348, US. Maybe 349.

Is she in?

Oh, yes, sir, Mr. Justice Snow.


Uh, just hold on a second. Yes?

ROBINSON: Madam Justice, Mr. Justice Snow would like to see you.

He would. When?

He's here.

Just check those references. I'll get back to you. Thank you.

Tell Mr. Justice Snow I'll be happy to see him in a minute.

She'll be happy to see you in a moment, Mr. Justice.

Thank you.

Ask Mr. Justice Snow to come in, Mr. Robinson.

You may go in, Mr. Justice.

Thank you.

No, no. Please, please. Don't get up, don't get up.

You' d stand, Mr. Justice, if I came to call on you in chambers.

Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that. [CHUCKLES]

I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for seeing me like this.

On no notice whatsoever.

It's my honor. Is it?

Well, I suppose it is.

Say ...

That's quite a desk.

And so neat.

Do aircraft land here frequently?

What is it that you wanted to see me about?

Nothing earthshaking.

By George, I was a little startled to see

that you've got a male law clerk out there.

Mr. Robinson? He's not my law clerk. He's my secretary.

Well. Well, well, well.

What a generous gesture.

Letting men into a field

previously dominated by the other sex.

I'm glad you're in favor of men's lib.

Say, let's relax.

Do you feel like relaxing?

Madam Justice,

I hope you aren't finding our national capital too dull

after the grandeur of Disneyland.

You don't think much of California, do you?

I try not to think of it at all.

Why don't you try climbing some our mountains?

Oh, I have, I have. I admire your mountains.

It 's your valleys that make me nervous.

Now, Madam Justice,

I would like your opinion on a point of law

concerning that great American art form, the motion picture.

Help yourself.

Oh, thank you.

Now, I was wondering if by any chance

you'd seen a film called, um...

The Naked Nymphomaniac.

That's the one.

Now you probably didn't even notice I wasn't there.

I noticed.

Oh, you did? Mmm.



I wonder if you found anything,

uh, unpleasant in the picture.

First of all,

I see no reason to overturn the lower court.

Anyone who'd seen that film would
realize that The Naked Nymphomaniac

is a total offense against the public sensibility.

It's sickening, degrading, disgusting.

My, my, my, my, my, my.

As bad as all that?

Now, I wonder if you can put your finger

on exactly what it was that offended you?

Was it the title? Some particular word in the title.

"Naked", is that it?

What if they called it

The Fully-Clothed Nymphomaniac?

Or maybe it was the other word that bothered you.


Supposing they called it The Naked Methodist,

or Naked Daughter of the American Revolution?

Are you finished?

Madam Justice, I am a long way from being finished,

but I' ll pause briefly in case there's something you'd like to say.

Thank you.

Let me ask you something.

Would you call a female governor a governess?

Is a woman composer a composeress?

No. And her sex is entirely beside the point.

And a justice of the Supreme Court

is a justice, not "Madam Justess."

Now, Mr. Justice, I submit that we are failing in our duty on this court

if we don't try to stop the avalanche of prurient slop...

Madam, if you'll... I'm not finished.

Which is about to bury us.

Are we doing our job if we permit anything?

What are we permitting?

Violence in the streets.

Kids on drugs.

Filth. Pornography.

Who slaps the labels on? You? Me?

Somebody better. No, thank you, ma'am.

I think it's unconstitutional to set myself up as a censor.

Refusing to look at something is censorship.

Hell, I don't look at television, that doesn't make it illegal.

That's not the point.

Seeing that film is material to making a judgment.

If you' d spent 10 minutes in that screening room. Five minutes.

You would see how obscene, how outrageous...

Censorship is an outrage.

What about a training film for terrorists?

A free lecture. How To Make a Nuclear Bomb in Your Basement.

Do you condone inciting to violence?

No, ma'am.

What about inciting to decadence?

Define decay.

That's what we're here for.

Not me.

We'd better try.

The people of this country have only
one absolute protection against chaos.

The law.

And you and I were appointed to this court for only one reason,

to uphold and sustain that law.

Watch out. You can't turn the law into a straitjacket.

The law's gotta be a suit of clothes a man can wear.

It's gotta fit easy, be comfortable.

Law shouldn't strap a man in at the throat, or the brain, or the crotch.

That's vivid.

Do you know what you're doing?

You're making Maloney more important than the law.

He is more important than the law!

This court doesn't try men. We put their trials on trial.

That's it. We're constantly examining the witness who isn't there.

All we ever get to see are lawyers, cold records, cold briefs.

Where's the human being? Where's the pain? We've gotta touch flesh.

I'll tell you where the pain is.

It 's in the people who get hurt.

The innocent little kid who sits in the dark theater while Maloney's filth

pours over him.

That's where the pain is.

You're on the right track.

You're beginning to look at people.

And when you let a little more humanity into your thinking,

you might make a damn good justice.

But I won't bet on it.

You're just being sweet to me because I'm a woman.

Do I have any appointments this afternoon?

3:15. Miller, securi...

Cancel it.

Mrs. Stowe just called.

Call her back, tell her I can't talk to her.

And blow your nose, please.

I don't wanna talk to anybody. I gotta work, I gotta concentrate.

Yes, sir.

He says he doesn't want to...

I wouldn't dream of disturbing Justice Snow.

I'm looking for Herbert G. Maloney.

Film producer. Oh...

There you are, Mr. Maloney.


A respected colleague of mine,

Mr. Justice Snow, feels that this court

is doing you a great injustice

by not meeting you face-to-face.

We ought to hear your voice,

bask in your personality.

What was the expression he used?

Oh, yes, we should "touch flesh."

Mason, call the guard.

Don't go, Mason.

This might be quite educational for all of us.

Would you care to take the witness stand,

Mr. Maloney?

Going to swear me in?

Going to lie to me?

Maybe you better swear me in.

I, Herbert G.
Maloney, do solemnly swear the testimony I am about to give

to be the truth, the whole truth,

and nothing but the truth, so help me Loomis.

Let's get right to the point, Mr. Maloney.

Are you aware that you broke a law?

No, ma'am.

You didn't realize that the State of Nebraska

has statutes prohibiting pornography?

Doesn't the First Amendment apply to guys like me?

Isn't it an umbrella that's supposed to keep all of us from getting wet?

Or is there a hole in it over Nebraska?

But the people of Nebraska have the freedom

to protect themselves against your abuse of their freedom.

That's what this case is all about.

Look, lady, I'm a businessman,

a n d I don't see where the government's got any business

telling me how to run my business.

Oh, I'm relieved.

For a while, I thought you might be thinking of yourself as an artist.

I do recall the word "art"

plastered across your film.

Tell me, Mr. Maloney,

do you honestly believe

The Naked Nymphomaniac is art?

Sure, why not? Who's to say it isn't? What's art anyway?

Artists don't even know, let alone lawyers.

Exactly what was your motivation

in filming The Naked Nymphomaniac?


You can't have much pursuit of happiness in this country

unless you pursue a little money.

Anything unconstitutional about that?

Does the Constitution give you the right to do anything for money?

Does it give you the right to shove me into bankruptcy?

The lawmakers of Nebraska want to stop the pollution

of the minds and morals of the public.

By films like yours.

My colleague on this bench, Mr. Justice Snow...

Fine man. Know him very well.

He feels very strongly about profit-pursuing

conglomerates which pollute the air.

Air is different. You've got to breathe.

You don't have to go to the movies.

State and local governments have a right to set community standards.

People can say, "I don't want this kind of thing in my neighborhood."

Is it okay for people to say,

"We don't want any Baptists in our neighborhood, damn it"?

Your film, it's called an exploitation film, is that correct?

Right, and you're keeping me from exploiting it.

Aren't you exploiting women,

the act of love?

Giving a distorted picture of sex to young people?

Who am I hurting?

I'm not talking about bodily harm.

Has anyone died from seeing The Naked Nymphomaniac?

What about injury to the spirit?

Doesn't your celluloid poison

attack all human dignity and decency and beauty?

I don't think you like my picture.

I think somebody had better set some standards,

some voice had better say, "This far and no farther."

You're talking like a woman, not a justice.

You 're talking like a justice, not a witness. Sit down, Maloney.

Have you been to New York lately?

Times Square, 44th, 45th Street?

It used to be a decent place to visit.

Unforgettable music, powerful plays.

Today, right around the corner on 8th Avenue,

your picture's probably playing

alongside a lot of other pornography and filth.

Watch out, lady.

Scratch me, put me out of business, and who else gets scratched?

The same end of the eraser can wipe out

your unforgettable music and your powerful plays.

You're sharp, Maloney.

You pull every sleeve inside out.

You want the liberty to dirty up my liberty,

my security against

the profiteering two-legged cockroaches of this world,

my right to live in a sweet and decent
society and not some kind of sewer.

Even in New York you have to clean up
after your dog shits on the sidewalk,

and it's a perversion of the Constitution

to shove our faces into excrement

masquerading as art.

I'm glad I met you, Mr. Maloney.

I feel I have a much better understanding of you...

And Justice Snow.

He may want the absolute freedom to go straight to hell,

that's his right.

But he has no right to force the rest of
the country to take the trip with him.

You may step down.

Yeah, you make a pretty good trial lawyer.

Too bad you had to gave it up.

You make a very good actor.

I may always have the feeling there's a
pornographic producer under your robes.

It makes me sick to my stomach

to h ave to defend a principle as noble as the First Amendment

on the basis of that can of film you found so offensive,

but by God, as long as I have tongue and tonsils,

and the ability to talk, I'll defend everybody's right to speak,

and every man's right to be wrong.

I yield to you as the authority on that, Mr. Justice.

She's dangerous.

That woman is positively dangerous.

The men on this court have got to stick together, Mason.

After all, there are only eight of us left

against all of her.

Should we smile a little?

Good God, no. Who would trust a happy justice?

Should the lady be standing while the five of us are sitting?

This is where the newest member of the court is supposed to be, I think.

Ready, everybody?

Now, please don't look directly into the camera.

And I think if you seem to be looking out into space?

Into the future?

I can't see that far. I didn't bring my glasses.

You'll need more than glasses.

My wife always hates these pictures. She says we all look stuffed.

Why don't we take a snapshot of our convictions?

It would have to be a moving picture, if convictions mean anything.

My convictions don't move.

Neither did the dinosaurs.

Come on, tear that one up.

Yes, Mr. Chief Justice.

Would somebody suggest to our great dissenter

that he curb his celebrated sense of humor?

He 'll need all his wits to keep on

writing minority opinions.

Well, a man's got to decide whether to
be on the right side or the winning side.

Once in a while, they are the same.

This court isn't going to reverse the Seventh Circuit on Omnitech.

DAN: We sure as hell won't if we don't even hear it.

Come on, gentlemen. Hold that for the conference room.

You can wreck the whole business establishment,

Mr. Justice Snow,

with your damn socialist ideas!

I'm about as much of a socialist as Donald Duck and you know it,

you brainwashed Brahman!

Come on, come on. Harold, sit down.

Come on, now. Dan, behave yourself.

Here we go.

Destroy that negative.

Yes, sir.

Harold, try to remember what you did with your face last year.

You looked pretty good.

I did?

Just look trustworthy.

Somebody in Washington better look that way.

Is Justice Snow implying

that no body in this city, or this country, is honest except him?

Oh, to hell with the picture.

CJ: Dan, where are you going? We've got to finish this!

Paste me in from last year.

CJ: All right, Richard, we'll try again tomorrow.

RICHARD: Yes, sir.

It's been a pleasure.

Good afternoon, sir.

Where are you going? Not to Europe again?

Much farther than that.

The Virgin.

Yes, you can take those two. I'll bring these myself.

I thought I'd be gone before you came home.

Usually, that's not very difficult.

I left a note for you on the dining room table.

I don't want to read any notes.

Then you can talk it over with my lawyers.

They thought that would avoid any unnecessary unpleasantness.

What's so pleasant about talking to lawyers?

What the hell is happening around here?

Maybe the court can stand your bad temper, but I can't.

What do you mean, bad temper?

God damn it,
I'm the sweetest- tempered son of a bitch in the District of Columbia!

Sit down.

Why should I sit down?

What the hell are you doing?

Describe the wallpaper. What wallpaper?

In this room.


What color is it?

What design? Who memorizes wallpaper?

You can't memorize what you don't ever see.

Good-bye, Dan.


Pink roses and butterflies, for Christ's sake!

RUTH: How does the great dissenter

feel about our playing tennis together every week?

I'm not sure. I haven't told him yet.

Well, I must say, Dan Snow has done a lot for my game.

Every time I get a high one I can really kill.

That's not you on the other side of the net.

That's why they go by me so fast. [LAUGHS]

Go change. I'll give you a lift to Mount Olympus.

How do you stand his moods, Mason?

Every time I see him, he's ready to explode.

Does he ever just relax?

Yeah, he does have strong feelings.

Same as you do.

I hope you're not implying that he and I are alike.

No, no, no. I just mean that you have similar differences.

You both care about things,

nothing's unimportant,

whether you're making a point on the bench

or on the tennis court.

Does Justice Snow ever talk about me?

Oh, all the time.

Anything quotable?



I withdraw the question.

Hearsay evidence.



You're not a double agent, are you, Mason?

No, sir.

We just get in a set of tennis about once a week before breakfast.

She plays very well for a justice of the Supreme Court.

She's got a hell of a backhand, sir.

Yeah, I know. I've seen it work.

When we found out we were both tennis players...

Well, I hope you don't mind, sir.

Hell, no.

Go ahead.

Wear her out.

Yes, sir.


[JUSTICES CHATTERING] Why are you trying to persuade me?

You know I won't vote to hear it.

All right, all right!

We'll table this one.

Why not table everything?

DAN: Oh, no. Abbot vs. Omnitech.


I think putting Omnitechon the calendar

is an exercise in futility.

Right. Oh, is it?

Perhaps if we stopped recruiting judges

from the jungles of Orange County,

maybe we can get a 4-5 court turned into a 5-4 court.

I'm so sick and tired of being on the short end of the vote all the time.

That's what we're trying to save you from, Dan.

Well, I don't want to be saved!
I want to keep right on going, straight to hell.

What's Omnitechdone?

That's what these little stockholders are trying to find out.

But, Dan, the momentum engine doesn't work.

That's what Omnitech says.

What about these experts who say otherwise?

But we'll never know, will we?

Because Donald Richards, chairman of Omnitech,

has bought up all the patents and buried them.

This action is against Omnitech, not Donald Richards.

Donald Richards is Omnitech, for Christ's sake.

Where the hell is he, and why has he disappeared?


I don't see any new Constitutional grounds

for us to review Omnitech.

If we don't hear it, who in the hell will?

This is the last goddamn stop, lady.

Why does Brother Snow insist on wasting the court's valuable time?

Because I smell plenty of unrefrigerated fish here.

Muckraking. That's all it is, Dan.

Do you like being screwed?

Because that's what Donald Richards is doing, you know.

Screwing you and me and the whole country.

You 're a troublemaker, you know that?

Yes, I know that. But somebody has to be, CJ.

Move up Omnitech.

Good morning, Mr. Justice Snow.


What makes you think it's going to rain?

The newspaper said there's an 80 % chance of rain or snow.

What do they know?

They're wrong 80 % of the time.

That was our floor.

Yes. Why didn't you get out?

I thought you'd go first.

How would you like to take a little trip with me?

That's what we seem to be doing.

Ever been to the Smithsonian?

Not lately.

Understand I wouldn't dream of trying to change your mind for the world,

but there's something at the Smithsonian I think you ought to look at.

Some early American pornography?

Good morning, Mr. Justice.

Good morning. Morning.

What have you got in the briefcase, Harold,

dirty books?

What I want you to see at the Smithsonian

isn't even vaguely offensive to the public sensibility.

What time?


Make it 3:15.

We'll take my car.

What time does the Smithsonian close?

This won't take long.

Why don't we take my car?

It has a top.

Well, I guess the paper was right about the rain.

First time they've been right in 20 years.

L ady, what you are about to see is a revolution.

Nonviolent, I hope.

This is it.

Spin it. Go ahead.

Go ahead, give it a spin. It won't hurt you.

That is a momentum engine.

It's a model of course, a prototype.

Imagine a flywheel 20 times heavier

revolving 1,000 times faster in a sealed vacuum.

This could revolutionize the entire auto industry.

W e could have cars without gas tanks
because they wouldn't need gas to run.

This is what Omnitech bought and buried.

If you want to change my vote on Omnitech, no, thank you.

I'm trying to change dead words on a page
into a visual image to clarify in your mind.

Don't treat me like a first-year law student.

I'm just trying to... You're trying to change my mind.

I'm trying to help you change your mind all by yourself.

That machine is a dandy idea and it just doesn't work.

It's never been given a chance to work.

It's been squashed.

Would you go to all this trouble if I were a man?

One of the brothers?

Sex has nothing to do with it.

Becaus e I'm a woman,
your resplendent male ego wants to win me over.

Jefferson said an educated electorate is the basis...

You're an arrogant, self-centered, male chauvinist pig.

You're just being sweet to me because I'm a man.

I only wanted you to see with your own eyes,

that gasoline isn't the only way to store energy.


W e ll, don't expect me to believe

that Alice in Wonderland whirligig could run a car.


Having trouble, are you?

Excuse me.

Finally got the auto club.

May be a while.

We could take a cab if we could get a cab.

Have you eaten anything?

No, I just got in here. Same as you.

I meant today.

Oh, today. Well, I, um,

I'm not sure. I don't keep track.

Do you know what that do es to your blood sugar? What do you care?

A person can't make valid judgments with low blood sugar.

Is that any place in the Constitution?

Well... Good evening.

I'm not hungry. Just bring me a cup of coffee.

I think you are hungry and you just don't know it.

I'm not hungry and I know it.

I'll order something for you.


You're not telling her to put poison in my food, are you?

I don't know how to say poison.


I appreciate your concern about my insides.

Do me a favor, will you? Put your hand over your eyes?


A test.

What's on the wall? Wallpaper.

Uh, what color?

Gold. Any pattern?

Yes. What is it?

Cherry blossoms with bluebirds.

How the hell did you know that?

I saw it when we came in!

You go around looking at wallpaper everyplace?

My God, that's what's wrong with you!

Your brains are full of wallpaper.

W e ll, your brain is full of...

Watch that. Watch...

People... People here...

I was going to say momentum engines and Omnitech.

Omnitechmay be the most importance case of this decade.

When one tiny group of stockholders tries to

undermine a great corporation...

Big. Huge. Not necessarily great.

How come the president of Omnitech didn't show up at his own trial?

Don Richards doesn't want the courts to put him out of business!

Rule against Omnitech, and down goes the whole corporate system.

Only the abuses.

In your isolated opinion.

Not so isolated. W e have statutes that define the abuses.

If we try to extend our jurisdiction... All I'm asking is what's fair.

...into legislative area.

Don't you see? Omnitech must win.

Oh, you think that, do you? Y es!

Well it seems to me anything can happen, no matter how great the odds.

That's what makes this country so wonderful.

I absolutely agree with you.

But do you know what I believe more than anything else?
You said it on the bench!

You said, "The noblest purpose of this high court

"is to keep the government off the backs of the people."

People, yes. Not the large...

Aren't corporations people?

Owned by people, run by people. ...not the large.

Not the large... For the benefit of people?

Not the large...

And they may be destroyed by people
on the high court who seem to have

forgotten some of their earlier and wiser opinions.

Ah, the hell with this!

You haven't eaten your dim sum.

To hell with my dim sum!

What about your blood sugar?

To hell with my blood sugar.
All I wanted anyhow was a cup of coffee and a fork.

Is something wrong, sir? Yes. Everything.

Give me a check!

I 'll take the check.

Yes, you do that. You'll feel much better about it.

And don't worry about me. I'll be just fine. I'll take a cab.


It's nothing personal.

He's just very upset.

He's been working too hard.

I don't have any money for a cab.

Good night, Madam Justice.

Would you see that these are delivered to Justice Snow in the morning?

Justice Snow's still here.

I don't think so.

He 's in the court, ma'am.

This late?

And it is, ma'am.

Okay. Thank you.

How long have you been here?

Since October.

I'm not sure the lady has enough seniority

to haunt these chambers at, uh,

1:20 in the morning.

What the hell are you doing here so late?

Studying for finals.

What about you?

Well, I used to think I lived in Georgetown,

but I guess this is more my permanent residence.

I brought you these. A few opinions of mine from the lower court.

I'll read them. Thank you.

You're welcome.

May I ask you a question?


Other than my blood sugar

and my bad table manners,

exactly how repulsive do you think I am?

Do you want my opinion as a justice of the Supreme Court?

No, no, no.

As a woman.

You want to take the Fifth?

Maybe one of us had better.

My car runs now.

Would you like a lift home?


Pretty cool around the Snow household these days.

I heard that.

I'm sorry.

It's your fault, you know.

My fault?

I think my wife thinks that I spend so
much time being furious at you that I don't

have enough energy left to be furious with her.

And I have a hunch

she thinks I consider you attractive.

There's certainly no evidence to support that contention.

Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that.

I hope you assured Mrs. Snow that the mere fact one of your

colleagues happens to be a woman...

That's no mere fact.

That's an overwhelming fact.

But I've never been prejudiced by sex.

Entertained, yes. Prejudiced, never.

Yes, yes, yes.

This is a dandy. I remember it well.

I don't agree with a word of it, but it's well-written.

How can you be so goddamned logical

and so goddamned wrong?

What's so wrong about encouraging the economy?

I've heard you talk over and over again

about improving the quality of life on this planet

and I agree with you, Dan.

Justice Snow.

Dan is fine.

Look what these great companies have done for us.

Large companies.

Large. Large.

Are we going to throw those benefits away?

Should I take my weekly wash down
to the banks of the Potomac River and

and beat it with rocks?

Won't get it very clean.

If we reverse the Seventh Circuit on Omnitech...

If it's so damn important,

why doesn't Donald Richards stand trial?

What do you want to know?

You're not Donald Richards,

and he's the one with the answers.

Swear me in.

Oh, you want to play that game again.

All right. You're sworn.

I am delighted, Mr. Donald Richards,

to have you here at last.

In the flesh, so to speak.

Would you state your occupation, please?

I'm president and chairman of the board of Omnitech International.

Why did you refuse to testify in the suit against your company?

I never received a subpoena.

They have to know where you are to serve it.

But you deliberately made yourself unavailable, remained in hiding.

Doesn't an American citizen

have a right to privacy?

Tell me something, sir.

I'll bet you have a share or two of stock in Omnitech?

I'm the majority stockholder.

Yes. I kind of thought you were.

Now, what about all those little stockholders

who got wind of the appalling notion

that you, Mr. Richards, grabbed up an earthshaking idea and strangled it.

You know what I find appalling?

That you have the arrogance to pass

judgment on something you don't know anything about.

Bu t you do, Mr. Richards?

When we test something, like the momentum engine,

and we find out it doesn't work,

we drop it and spend our time and money on something that will work.

What about the experts who say it does work?

You think I would deliberately dump an idea

that could make millions for my stockholders?

But you've got billions committed

to the internal combustion engine.

Omnitech makes spark plugs, you wanna go on making spark plugs.

There's money in carburetors. You wanna go on making carburetors.

You've got vested interests in 16 oil companies.

You wanna go on selling gas.

You have one noble purpose, Mr.
Richards, to keep things the way they are.

An idea doesn't just turn into a reality.

Something's gotta make it happen.

It takes money to build factories,

grind out a product, advertise it, sell it.

Did you ever hear of a box of cereal

or a tube of toothpaste going out and giving birth to itself?

Do you know what it takes?

Capital. Capital. You're damn right.

And I'm not going to commit my corporation

to the expenditure of millions of dollars on an idea

that just doesn't work.

That you say doesn't work.


Thomas Edison dreamed up the electric light bulb.

The government gave him a patent.

So that he could profit from his invention.

Fine! But the light itself belongs to everybody,

and nobody... Nobody has a right

to turn on the darkness.

You dare accuse me, my company, my companies, of practices

that belong in the Dark Ages?

Then let there be light!

Come out of the dark, Donald Richards!

Who are you?

What do you look like? Where have you been?

Holy Christ.

You know what I think? I think you're dead, Donald Richards.

I think you've been dead for a long time. 8, maybe 10 years.

It 's been that long since anyone has seen you.

And if you are dead, who is running Omnitech?

Who actually holds all that power?

Some cabal of faceless men

without names, without fingerprints,

without Social Security numbers,

who are compounding your suppression of the momentum engine

by hiding behind a dead man?

Why would anybody want to do that?

Hell of a lot of reasons. Dodge inheritance taxes,

avoid a power struggle.

Hang on to government contracts.

Omnitech is a phantom government hiding behind a dead man.

We can't see it. We didn't elect it.

It doesn't exist. It never dies!

Why don't we hoist up a new flag?

The star-spangled Omnitech!

Omnitech rules the waves!

Omnitech about everything!





Dan, are you all right?

Yeah, sure. It was a lot of fun.

I enjoyed it.





What do the doctors say?

They don't know. They're making tests.

Is he in any pain? No, I don't think so.

I don't ever remember Dan being sick before.

He considers it unconstitutional.

I'v e never walked into that chamber without Dan there.

Are you ready, gentlemen and Madam Justice?

After today's session, I need 24 hours. Oh?

I have to go to California.
There's something I have to be absolutely sure about.

Of course.

PILOT: Ladies and gentlemen, we are making our descent

to John Wayne Orange County Airport.

Please be sure your seat belt is securely fastened.

ANNOUNCER: Golden West Airlines announces Flight 710

from Los Angeles

now arriving at Gate 8.

Welcome home, Madam Justice.

You look fabulous. Thanks, Bill. Thanks for meeting me.

Thank you for letting me. How about your luggage?

This is it. That's it?

I have to catch the red-eye back tonight.

You're kidding! I had a lot of things arranged for us.

I'm a working girl.

Not even one set? I was planning on beating you this time.

The court sits tomorrow morning.

Well, you were right.

Loomis and Loomis did have dealings with Omnitech.

But I don't think it's anything you should be worried about.

I'd say your husband's relationship with Don Richards

lasted about five minutes.

Is this all there is? That's it.

Now, I've made reservations for lunch
at a great new place right on the water.

But first, if you don't mind, let's stop by the office.

Lots of people there would like to see
what a Supreme Court Justice looks like.

What's the matter?

Never could read your husband's shorthand.

I can.

Take me to Bekins warehouse.

What for?

Just take me.

Loomis' records are on the left hand side, at the end.

Why is this one locked?

Big surprise to me.

I never thought of the Supreme Court as an investigative body.

What's in there?

You don't want to know.

Give me the key.

Don't tell me you haven't got it.

You knew about this all along, didn't you?

So did your husband.

Reverend Loomis preached the sermon.

I just said amen.

I don't believe this.

I just don't believe this.

Good. It's better that way.

Put the file away,

turn the key and it never happened.

If you think I'm going to shove this back into the dark

to protect you, or the firm or myself,

you're dead wrong.

Get me the references on Dalton v. Utah.

And I want a facsimile

 of the black letter that's on my desk on top of Sparey v. Virginia.


You shouldn't be out of bed, Mr. Justice.

Nurse, can you lend me a quarter?

Uh, just a minute, operator, reverse the charges, will you?

Yes, just reverse... Make it a collect...

Mason, tell the operator you'll pay for the call, will you?

Justice Snow is at the telephone again.

I'm aware of that, Mason.

I am aware of that.

Just because I'm in a hospital

doesn't mean my mind isn't functioning.

Listen, don't let them take that Omnitechvote without me.

NURSE OVER PA: Dr. Hollerand, please call extension 429...

Will the head surgical nurse call the main desk, please?

Dr. Singh, please go to the orthopedic wing.

Dr. Singh, go to the orthopedic wing.

You have just dropped

American justice on the floor.

NURSE OVER PA: Dr. Foley, please go to admitting.


Come on in.

How are you?

How are you?

I'm fine.

Pay no attention to the buzzards circling above the building.

You know what they did? They yanked out my telephone.

How do they expect you to get any work done around here?

Hey, what are you doing? I'm not going to fall out.

You know they can kill you in a hospital
if you don't stick up for your rights.

You be a good boy now, Mr. Justice.

Oh, shut up. And don't give us any more trouble.

Get me another pillow.

Mayb e I should talk to you another time, Dan.

No, no, no.

What's the problem? Come here.

I just wanted to tell you this

bfore you heard it from somebody else.

I w ent to California for the day.

Couldn't take it, huh?

I'm resigning from the court.

Why would you do a damn fool thing like that?

I found out that Jack, my husband,

and our law firm were involved with Omnitech.

Good morning, Dan. Morning.

Dr. Fogger, Madam Justice Loomis.

Oh. Oh, well... How do you do?

Hello. It's a pleasure.

Somebody swiped my telephone, Doctor.

No, no, no. We took it out, Dan. We want you to rest.

How do you expect me to rest without a telephone?

That logic will get you nowhere.

Would you please stop trying to change the hospital rules?

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not apply in hospitals.

It should.



What the hell are you doing here?

Official business of the federal government.

May I come in?

Oh, did I get you in the middle of something?

I'm sorry.

What did you do, just get up and walk out?

Yes, ma'am. This is very nice.

They told me you're still under observation.

It's bigger than my place. They don't even know what happened to you.

Well, they'll have to figure it out without me.

I can't give them any more of my time.

Dan, if it was a coronary...


My heart wouldn't dare attack me.

Now what's all this crap about quitting?

Do you mind?

Why don't you lie down?

That's okay. I'll be all right in a minute. Put your feet up.

Can I get you a pillow?

Sure, why not?

Are you asleep?



You want to tell me what's wrong?

Are you well enough to talk?

I'm even well enough to listen.

The other night,

you made an outrageous statement.

You said you didn't think Donald Richards was still alive.

I got this out of a sealed Loomis and Loomis file in Santa Ana.

It's Donald Richards' death certificate.

Holy God.

Anybody else see this?


This makes Omnitecha whole new ballgame.

God, are we going to shake up the brothers!

Get your clothes on.

W e can still make that morning conference.

I'm not going.


I told you.

I'm resigning from the court.

That's idiotic. It doesn't make any sense.

My husband knew.

Jack knew that Donald Richards died in Costa Rica in 1973.

And he was part of the conspiracy to cover it up.

Did you know?

Did your husband ever tell you anything about it?

No. Of course not.

Then there's no reason to resign.

Get some clothes on. Let's get down there.

If there's the slightest doubt in anybody's mind that I belong there,

I don't want to be there.

Lady, that is extremely noble,

but goddamned wrong.

What do you think I should do, Dan? What's protocol?

Should I write the President?

You don't write anybody. Keep your robes on.

Let the mud fly. It won't stick to you.

Quitting the court without good reason

is spitting in the face of the government that put you there.

Without good reason? I've got good reason.

Because of something your husband did that you know nothing about?

When you're married to somebody you become...

You're a member of the high court...

You don't dissociate yourself from somebody that you're married to. God, something happens.

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,

"this corrupt ion shall put on incorruption."

St. Paul vs. The Corinthians.


Interesting case.

But what if an incorrupt person finds out that she's corrupt?

That's applesauce and you know it.

I thought you'd be happy to have me off the court.

That was before you were on the court.

I never thought I'd ever kiss a Supreme Court Justice.

You didn't kiss me. I kissed you.

Make you a deal.

You don't resign, I don't die.

Let me think about that.

Don't we want the working entrance?

Not this morning. Right up the front steps.

Can't wait to get into that conference room.

You really think we can go in there and I can pick up where I left off?

Hell no. Every day is different.

You're different. I'm different.

Every morning, a fresh beginning. Fresh start.

First Monday in October. Always.


What about the meter?

I don't have any money.

You liberals never do.


Here. Keep the change.

Thanks, Your Honor.

You know what's on the calendar right after Omnitech, don't you?

First Atheist Church vs. The City of Waco, Texas.

You ain't going to miss that one, are you?

Obviously, community standards should prevail.

What about religious freedom?

Atheism is a religion?

God, yes. Oh, Dan!

What about Cook County Diocese vs. John Doe?

What about Smith v. US?

Miller vs. Moon.

Dalton v. Utah.

Oh, we're going to have a battle on that one.

You can count on it.

You shouldn't be climbing these steps! Why not?

This is my mountain, our mountain.

You know something?

You and I make each other possible.

Damn right, we do.