Chief Justice Ain't Got a Bob Dylan Quote

Roberts almost cites singer correctly in dissenting decision
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 29, 2008 4:22 PM CDT
In this March 3, 2006 file photo, members of the Supreme Court pose for a photo at the Supreme Court' Supreme Building in Washington.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A Supreme Court decision was livened up this week by a quote from 1960s thinker, Robert Dylan—known to his fans as Bob. Regarding a stand-off between phone companies, Chief Justice John Roberts quoted, "When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose," from Bob Dylan's 1965 hit Like a Rolling Stone. But Roberts left out a word that most Dylan fans remember, the New York Times reports.

“When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose," is Dylan's line, although websites often omit the flavorful "ain't." Roberts' misquote remains a historic first use of rock lyrics in a Supreme Court decision, one expert said. Lower courts have cited singers before: Dylan is tops with 26 citations, followed by Paul Simon with eight, and Bruce Springsteen with five.