While it's certainly a hassle to get a ticket for parking or a traffic violation, maybe there's some small consolation in knowing that those in positions of power aren't immune to them either. Such was the case recently when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia received not one, but two tickets in Philadelphia.
Sources indicate that Justice Scalia got the two parking tickets back in mid-October after his drivers left two cars parked for 28 minutes in a 20-minute loading zone. The amount of the two tickets? A relatively reasonable fine of $62.
Scalia had been in the City of Brotherly Love at an event to talk about his new book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.
"He spoke about ... the original understanding of the Constitution and how that's important in judicial decision-making," said one of the sponsors of the talk, which drew roughly 250 people.
Not surprisingly, The Philadelphia Inquirer had something of a field day with the story, asking the Supreme Court's public information officer whether Scalia was a fan of the television reality show Parking Wars. For the record, the officer did not respond to that question.
The newspaper also noted that "Philadelphia has been rough on Supreme Court justices before," referencing a falling frame that narrowly missed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she was in Philadelphia's National Constitution Center back in 2003.
There has been a lot of controversy over whether foreign diplomats should have to pay for their parking tickets, and the laws have been changing on that. However, there's also been no groundswell of support for the notion that Supreme Court justices should be able to evade their fines.
Unless Scalia successfully contests his ticket, he will have to pay.
"I'm sure he makes a decent salary, gets a lot of speaker fees for a lot of the things he does, and it's hard to imagine that they couldn't get the thing off the street and into a parking garage," said one veteran Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge.
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If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Justice, Philadelphia style: Scalia gets two parking tickets," Miriam Hill, Oct. 18, 2012