John Oliver Legal Footnote

Quoting a TV satirist in a Supreme Court judgment, almost as if he was a legal authority, was probably something John Oliver never expected.

However Clinton appointee Judge Marsha S Berzon cited Oliver in a class action lawsuit brought against Guam, which challenges their tax refund program.

The Judge cited the ‘insular cases’, a group of US Supreme Court decisions that affect the rights of those in US territories, saying the cases had been “the subject of extensive judicial, academic, and popular criticism,” citing both a law article and an episode of Last Week Tonight in the footnotes.

To quote the Judge:  We do note, however, that the so-called “Insular Cases,” which established a less-than-complete application of the Constitution in some U.S. territories, has been the subject of extensive judicial, academic, and popular criticism. See, e.g., Juan Torruella, The Insular Cases: The Establishment of a Regime of Political Apartheid, 77 Rev. Jur. U.P.R. 1 (2008); Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories, Youtube (Mar. 8, 2015),

Scroll to Top