The Origins of the Phrase "Kangaroo Court" Have Been Hiding in Plain Sight

Elaborate comparisons between the stare of the judge and the stare of the kangaroo, begone.


Observation
June 17 2020
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


“A kangaroo court,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called The Hague’s International Criminal Court on June 11, shortly after President Trump imposed on it sanctions for its allegedly discriminatory treatment of the United States and Israel. I don’t doubt the allegation, especially when it comes to Israel. But where, I found myself wondering, does the expression “kangaroo court” come from? I must have seen and heard it hundreds of times without stopping to look into the matter.

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