Quote of the Day, Balls and Strikes Edition

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Elena Kagan chop it up outside the courthouse. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/talkradionews/5042547412/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Flickr/TalkRadioNews</a>

Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts famously said in his 2005 confirmation hearings that judges are supposed to be like baseball umpires. “I will decide every case based on the record, according to the rule of law, without fear or favor, to the best of my ability” Roberts testified. “And I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.”

Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick catches Roberts acting a bit more like an NBA ref than a neutral arbiter of the law during arguments at Supreme Court over the limits of the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to regulate “indecency” in broadcasting: 

Roberts jumps in to add, “People who want to expose their children to broadcasts where these words are used, there are 800 channels where they can go for that. All we are asking for …” he stops himself. “What the government is asking for, is a few channels where you can say they are not going to hear the S-word, the F-word. They are not going to see nudity.”

Freudian slip? Or perhaps Roberts simply misspoke.