The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Alito: "I went to a law school where I didn't learn any law."


I was pleased to attend oral argument today in Jack Daniel's Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products–my first argument since the pandemic. This fun IP case considers a doggy toy that closely resembles a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky. It is always fun to see Lisa Blatt argue in person. She never disappoints. This exchange, in particular, was delightful:

MS. BLATT: Well, just showing how confused I was suggests that I would be your perfect consumer.


MS. BLATT: Justice Alito, I don't know how old you are, but you went to law school, you're very smart, you're analytical, you have hindsight bias, and maybe you know something -

JUSTICE ALITO: Well, I went to a law school where I didn't learn any law -

MS. BLATT: Okay. But -

JUSTICE ALITO: --so don't -


MS. BLATT: --it's just a little rich for people who are at your level to --to say that you know what the average purchasing public thinks about all kinds of female products that you don't know anything about or dog toys that you might not know anything about. And so I just think -

JUSTICE ALITO: I don't know. I had a dog. I know something about dogs.

MS. BLATT: Okay.

Alito has said many times before that he learned no actual law at Yale Law School. As soon as Blatt mentioned law school, I knew Alito would jab back at his alma matter.