During oral arguments in a case that was being heard online by the US Supreme Court, the unexpected sound of a toilet flush was heard and the clip has become a social media sensation. Although it wasn’t clear who was to blame, the distinct sound of a flush was hard to miss.
The apex court was broadcasting the oral arguments around a law meant to prohibit robocalls when the incident took place. The distinctive sound of the flush came as Roman Martinez, the attorney representing the American Association of Political Consultants was presenting his arguments.
While Martinez’s image was visible at the time the sound was heard, it wasn’t clear if it was at his office or if one of the other parties had forgotten to mute their devices during the conference call. However, many argued that as the lawyer continued to speak it was likely the sound came from somewhere else.
— Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) May 6, 2020
Soon the audio clip from the argument was being widely shared on social media and people responded with a lot of toilet-related jokes.
The sound of the toilet flushing during Supreme Court arguments is so loud that I have to believe the culprit was IN the bathroom, though not necessarily on the toilet. https://t.co/WqyK7RpAtZ
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 6, 2020
To be clear, the @FCC does not construe the flushing of a toilet immediately after counsel said “what the FCC has said” to reflect a substantive judgment of the Supreme Court, or of any Justice thereof, regarding an agency determination. #SCOTUS https://t.co/cghyBfn7rE
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) May 6, 2020
An argument for keeping these sessions audio-only https://t.co/LEEWYZdiAB
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) May 6, 2020
History making stuff https://t.co/XCKM7guc36
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) May 6, 2020
Is it too early to give out another audio Pulitzer? https://t.co/AjHX6o3QjA
— sean (@rameswaram) May 6, 2020
2020, in sum. https://t.co/E697kpOI8v
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 6, 2020
— David Lat (@DavidLat) May 6, 2020
— maxwell (@maxwellstrachan) May 6, 2020
— Alec Orenstein (@AlecOrenstein) May 6, 2020
At least you couldn’t hear any preceding “plops” or a stream hitting the water.
— Gibodean (@gibodean) May 6, 2020
The sound of Democracy being flushed down the toilet no doubt.
— Liz BeyBey (@liz_beybey) May 6, 2020
This is a perfect metaphor for the current administration.
— James Connors (@JimRConnors) May 6, 2020
Arguments flushed down the drains 😜
— Waseem Siddiqui (@waseems16339443) May 6, 2020
OK people–even if you really, really have to go–you DON’T have to flush!
Wait until the call has ended!
— Carla Johansen (@TimeForALawyer) May 6, 2020
— Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) May 6, 2020
I hope this is written into the transcript.
— AltHomelandSecurity🇺🇸 (@AltHomelandSec) May 6, 2020
During a zoom session where a lawyer was presenting a case to the Supreme Court, there was the distinct sound of a toilet flushing.
This is worse than being caught with no pants.
— Slush Pile Queen Waiting on Her Stimulus Check (@mariannevill714) May 6, 2020
Due to the pandemic, the US Supreme Court has been conducting hearings of cases for the first time over over telephone.
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