Damn John [Roberts]!

Palpable conservative anger at John Roberts over the Obamacare ruling reminded me of something out of US History 101. John Jay, our first Supreme Court Chief Justice, turns out not to have been a terribly well liked guy either.

While serving on the court, Jay negotiated a treaty with Britain that… proved unpopular. It inspired perhaps the most famous bit of political graffiti in American history: “Damn John Jay! Damn everyone who won’t damn John Jay!! Damn everyone that won’t put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning John Jay!!!” The Wikipedia entry adds, “Jay complained that he could travel from Boston to Philadelphia solely by the light of his burning effigies.”

I did a Google search for “damn John Roberts” yesterday but came up empty. Wonder how long it will take our more historically-minded, Tricorne-hat wearing tea partiers to dust off that old taunt and repurpose it.

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