In this exchange you’ll hear Gomez’s counsel, Jonathan Mitchell. The conservative justices pepper Mitchell with hypotheticals, attempting to show the unreasonableness of his client’s position. When Mitchell refuses to cave in to their insistence that Gomez’s case is moot, the justices change course and actually try to downplay the value of any judgment that a court could offer his client as opposed to a settlement offer from a corporation.

This is ludicrous. Without the power of the courts, everyday Americans would be unable to hold corporate interests accountable for their wrongdoing. To suggest that a judgment that has the full backing and credibility of a federal court is worthless compared to an I.O.U. from a corporation—the very corporation that has wronged the consumer in the first place—is absurd. As they say, fool me once . . . .