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Toilet flush alleged during Supreme Court conference call, prompting social media investigation

Only one potential suspect has come forward to deny guilt

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The sound of a toilet flushing was allegedly heard during an oral argument held in a conference call before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, sending social media into a frenzy.

The high court has thus far refused to comment on the incident, but one potential suspect has come forward to declare his innocence.

Regardless of who the guilty party may be, the internet has had a lot of fun over the disruption — and so has the media.

What are the details?

The Huffington Post reported that "the flush heard around the internet occurred while attorney Roman Martinez, appearing for the American Association of Political Consultants, was discussing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law meant to restrict intrusive robocalls."

During the recording of the call, Martinez can be heard saying, "What the FCC has said is that when [BLARING SOUND OF ALLEGED TOILET FLUSH] the subject matter of the call ranges different topics, then the call is transformed, and it's a call that would've been allowed, which is no longer allowed."

Listen: Toilet Flushes As Supreme Court Holds Oral Arguments By Teleconference | NBC News NOW www.youtube.com

But those listening in were more interested in the prospect that a justice might be occupied in a proverbial cloakroom than in what the attorney had to say.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, whose agency was mention during Martinez's argument, tweeted, "To be clear, the @FCC does not construe the flushing of a toilet immediately after counsel said "what the FCC has said" to reflect a substantive judgment of the Supreme Court, or of any Justice thereof, regarding an agency determination."

HuffPost compiled a litany of tweets from people speculating over who could have been the offending party, but Martinez is the only one who has gone on the record to clear his good name. The lawyer told Law360 the flush did not come from his commode, and BuzzFeed News argued he has a good defense, pointing out that "Martinez seems an unlikely suspect given he was midsentence."

As for who might have been the alleged perpetrator given their record, KMOX-AM reported: "Now, no one is pointing fingers — nor has the Supreme Court commented yet — but on Monday and Tuesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor forgot to unmute herself, and to be fair, it was only for a moment. Sotomayor told Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday, 'I'm sorry, Chief. Did it again.'"

Anything else?

According to this writer, the best headline written in coverage of the scandal came from Steven Nelson of the New York Post, who declared, "Mystery swirls after toilet flush heard on Supreme Court conference call."

One last thing…
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