The wild rumor that John Roberts would retire from his Supreme Court gig for health reasons appears to have begun by overexcited Georgetown law students texting during class. At 9am yesterday morning, Professor Peter Tague told his 1L class that, just between them, don’t tell anybody, John Roberts would retire. He went on to give a lecture on unreliable sources, concluding by revealing that he’d made up the Roberts story.
But in the time in between, “plenty of students texted and IMed their friends and family,” one student tells the Above the Law blog. The timeline matches up. Radar posted its initial story around 9:10 ET, and retracted it at 9:36, right after Tague revealed his ruse. And no, there wasn’t the slightest kernel of truth to it—one source close to the Court says Roberts would literally rather die than allow Obama to appoint his successor.