Obama thinks litmus test may be good after all

Reversing a decision announced only Tuesday, President Obama said he will require a litmus test of potential Supreme Court nominees, as well as other analyses of their chemical composition.    

“Upon further reflection, I think it is important that we know whether the nation’s next justice is acidic, alkaline or neutral,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “There must be both a proper pH balance as well as an ideological balance on our highest court.”    

Each of the leading candidates will be required to lick a purple piece of litmus paper to see if it turns blue, indicating they are primarily base, or red, indicating an acid tendency. In the interest of health, a separate strip of paper will be used for each potential nominee, though Administration officials were quick to stress that none of the nine were suspected of having any saliva-borne diseases.    

The current makeup of the Court includes four justices who are alkali and four who are acidic, so the new appointee could hold a swing vote in any future cases that rely on acid-base chemistry. One such case currently under review — Acid Washing vs. Eighties Jeans — could be immediately impacted by the appointment to fill the seat of retiring justice John Paul Stevens.    

The screening process, parts of which are already under way, was last used during Senate consideration of the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas. Despite controversial claims that Thomas had sexually harassed members of his staff, he was ultimately confirmed when his litmus result came back green, a rare outcome indicating his body is composed primarily of the element chlorine. Senators who had opposed his appointment gave up the fight when they realized he could be in charge of maintaining the Supreme Court’s swimming pool.    

Most of the typical human body is made up of oxygen, which comprises roughly two-thirds of our mass. Carbon is second at 18%, followed by hydrogen at 10%, nitrogen at 3%, calcium at 2% and phosphorus at 1%. Since most Obama nominees are far superior to typical humans, it’s expected that results will show several with significant amounts of precious metals. Those who aren’t vetted to the next stage in the consideration process can at least be commercially mined for their elements.    

A report already leaked to the New York Times showed that Diane Wood, a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Seventh Circuit, contained significant amounts of strontium and molybdenum. Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit is packed with manganese, cobalt and bromine, while Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm contains more zinc and fluorine than the average American.    

Janet Napolitano, who many considered an early favorite for the appointment, has reportedly already been eliminated because she contains not only iodine and selenium but also significant amounts of garlic and meat sauce, which could place her in a potentially divisive  bloc with conservative Antonin Scalia in any decisions where the Court might order in late-night pizzas.    

Besides the litmus test, the judges will be given a clinistrips test, to gauge sugar in their urine, the Van Slyke determination test for specific amino acids, and the bicinchoninic acid assay test to check their protein levels.    

“It is a little invasive, but I understand that the President and the Senate want to know everything about our backgrounds,” said candidate Leah Ward Sears, who is chief justice of the Georgia State Supreme Court and also rich in iron. “I’ve been meaning to get the iodoform reaction test that indicates the presence of methyl ketones, or compounds which can be oxidized into methyl ketones, but I’ve just been so busy lately. My chemical makeup is an open book.”    

It was reported, however, that at least one potential nominee, solicitor general Elena Kagan, objected to the destructive nature of several of the tests. She told associates she preferred not to have a finger removed so it could be tested for borax, halides and esters. She later relented when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel pointed out that she would still have nine other fingers left.    

Martha Minow, current dean of the Harvard Law School, said she was confident she would pass the litmus test because of her background in academia. Told it was not that kind of test, Minow said, “Oh.”    

Administration spokesperson Robert Gibbs emphasized that, regardless of where each candidate fell on the acid/base scale, what was most important was that a nominee’s views be consistent with those of the president on how the Constitution should be interpreted.    

“We won’t automatically rule out anybody who is mostly acidic,” Gibbs said. “But we do need to remember that a nominee must be acceptable to the president’s base.”    

“His ‘base’ — get it?” Gibbs continued. “It’s a joke.”

Federal judge Diane Wood is chock full of strontium and molybdenum, and her smile shows it

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3 Responses to “Obama thinks litmus test may be good after all”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:

    Brilliant, Davis. This one needs to be picked up by the national press.

  2. tom1950 Says:

    I definitely agree with Paul. This one is a keeper. I’ll probably send the URL to many of my friend.


  3. tychy Says:

    um, but surely the acids and alkalis would all cancel each other out, leading to bland “neutral” judgements… you need to introduce a justice made of potassium to really get the sparks flying.

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