At today's oral argument in an environmental case, Justice Stephen Breyer revealed that the worst pollutant he can think of is "saturated fat in potato chips."
His comment, as part of a hypothetical question, probably disappointed environmentalists, who could think of a few other things that qualify as pollutants.
But lawyer Ted Olson, representing a mining company defending its right to dump waste into an Alaskan lake, was clearly thinking along the same lines as Breyer.
He helpfully suggested that the worst pollutant he could think of was cholesterol.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. downplayed the harm the mining waste would do to the lake.
Yes, it would kill all the fish, but there's no shortage of them, he noted.
"There are millions of them somewhere else, right?” Roberts said, in what may or not be a joke.
Strictly speaking, of course, the proverbial "plenty more fish in the sea" wouldn't apply here as the lake in question is of the fresh water variety.
However, that problem could be resolved if some salt was added, should Justice Breyer have any potato chips handy.
The case is Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, 07-984 and Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, 07-990.