[Ads-l] "boiling the oceans"

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 1 15:29:06 UTC 2021

from: NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL Supreme Court Brief (12/1/2021 edition)
"Boiling the Oceans"
In the first argument yesterday morning, Cummings v. Premier Keller Rehab,
the justices wrestled with whether emotional distress damages are available
under the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act.

The justices appeared to be leaning in favor of the petitioner, a deaf and
partially blind woman. Her attorney Andrew Rozynski of New York's Eisenberg
& Baum received a particularly strong assist from Assistant to the U.S.
Solicitor General Colleen Sinzdak, a former Hogan Lovells partner.

Sinzdak, who faced Kannon Shanmugam of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton &
Garrison, offered a colorful moment when she said Shanmugam and his amici
must have been "boiling the oceans" in search of examples of exorbitant
awards with respect to emotional distress damages "and they're not finding

The phrase, according to some sources, usually means to call someone out
for taking on an impossible task given the resources or information
available. Less likely given her age, Sinzdak also may have been channeling
American humorist Will Rogers, according to another source of the phrase.

During World War I, Rogers reportedly suggested boiling the ocean as a way
to deal with German submarines. "You just boil the oceans. The U-boats will
turn pink and pop to the surface," he is alleged to have said. When asked
how to actually boil the oceans, he just said he never worries about the



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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