WASHINGTON—Following weeks of declining performance within the nation’s highest judicial body, the Supreme Court announced Thursday that it has sent a struggling Associate Justice Samuel Alito down to a lower federal court. “Sammy’s been a little cold with his dissenting opinions lately, so we’ve assigned him to a minor appellate jurisdiction until he can better contribute to this court,” Chief Justice John Roberts told reporters, confirming that Alito had been removed from the Supreme Court’s nine-person roster and appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. “Obviously, Sammy is a veteran legal scholar who has played a deciding role in several high-profile cases, but until he regains his stroke, we need to go with someone who can best interpret statutory law as set out by the U.S. Constitution. But we’re confident that he only needs to author a few decisions in some lower-pressure situations before he’s ready to return.” Roberts added that Alito’s spot on the court would be filled by recently called-up jurist prospect Ricardo Gonzalez, a 71-year-old constructionist from the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico.

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