A Supreme Court Justice Marijuana Stories Happened During Deliberations. In truly odd court deliberations involving a party held in a vacant Washington home, strippers, marijuana, and a host that went by the name “Peaches.”
The details of the case are somewhat bizarre: after neighbors complained about illegal activity at a vacant home in 2008, police arrived to find that the building had been turned into something like a strip club, with multiple party-goers and scantily-clad women wearing garter belts full of cash. When questioned, the party-goers named Peaches as the host, though she was not on the premises; she admitted to inviting people to the house without permission of the owners, and 21 of the party-goers were arrested for trespassing.
Many of those arrested on that night in 2008 sued police, arguing there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge them for trespassing, and were awarded $680,000 plus attorney’s fees. The Supreme Court was deliberating on whether or not they did have sufficient evidence for the trespassing charge and whether the officers would be shielded from liability even if their actions were found to violate the law.
In order to probe the issue, Justice Stephen Breyer created a fictional party host named Joe to discuss the issue at hand. “I am told … younger people frequently say, hey, there’s a party at Joe’s house,” Breyer said. “And before you know it, 50 people go to Joe’s house. And they all, they don’t really ask themselves does Joe own the house or rent it or something.”
It was part of this conversation that Justice Elena Kagan talked about some of her own experiences as a teen: “There are these parties that, once long ago, I used to be invited to where you didn’t … know the host, but you know Joe is having a party. And I can say that long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?”
Kagan was skeptical that the officers had sufficient evidence to arrest the partygoers, seemingly relating with the memories her own youthful experiences.