Songwriter, musician, poet, artist, legend; there are a lot of words that you could use to describe Bob Dylan. There are few people on Earth that aren’t familiar with his name. Dylan can now add the honorable John G. Roberts Jr., the chief justice of the United States to his list of loving fans. After, what the New York Times described as an, “achingly boring,” dispute between payphone companies and long distance carriers, Justice Roberts cited Dylan on page 4 of his dissent.
“The absence of any right to the substantive recovery means that respondents cannot benefit from the judgment they seek and thus lack Article III standing,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “ ‘When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.’ Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone, on Highway 61 Revisited (Columbia Records 1965).”
This is the first time to anyone’s knowledge that a Rock artist has been officially quoted by a member of the nations highest court.
It is easy to forget that most people in power positions are members of the baby boomer generation. Today’s Senators, Diplomats, Justices, Generals, and CEO’s are more likely to have grown up listening to the Beatles and Dylan than Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Makes you wander if in a few short years Gen X Judiciaries and Presidential candidates will be borrowing lyrics from Dead Kennedy’s and Public Enemy? Why not?
“Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be”…Public Enemy