Media commentators clearly enjoyed the drama, though opinions about the value of the proceedings followed predictable lines. Under the headline ‘A pointless diversion on the road to Brexit’, the Mail opined that: ‘This pointless legal theatre is shredding what remains of this country’s reputation for the sober and mature conduct of public affairs.’
The Mirror called on judges to ‘conjure the wisdom of Solomon’, contributing its own Solomonic verdict: ‘It’s clear that serial liar Boris Johnson wasn’t honest about suspending parliament or his kamikaze Brexit threat.’
In The Times, Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein took a longer view, saying the hearings ‘may mark the moment Britain stopped being a political democracy restrained by law and became instead a legal democracy tempered by politics’.
Guardian sketch writer John Crace noted that it was a poor day for nominative determinism: Lord Pannick QC, for Gina Miller, had been the ‘epitome of calm’, while Lord Keen QC, for the Scottish government, ‘appeared almost comatose’.
French daily Libération’s correspondent, meanwhile, seemed disappointed that the judges and advocates sported neither wigs nor ermine gowns, appearing rather in ‘somewhat monotonous shades of grey’.
And in the best tradition of local journalism, the Yorkshire Post found an angle for its readers: ‘Yorkshire-born Supreme Court president Lady Hale presides over vital hearing on whether suspending parliament was unlawful.