Justice Scalia speaks


I believe I may say without fear of contradiction that my decisions and dissents are legendary for their incisive, rapier-like wit and that not since Solomon decided a child custody case by threatening to cut the baby in half has the world seen such a razor-sharp, no-nonsense, cut-the-crap judicial mind as my own.

Overruling Ninth Circuit habeas grants has become pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel these days (See Swarthout v. Cooke), since it appears that the movers and shakers of California, not excepting the judiciary, are comprised primarily of sun-worshipping hippies and old movie stars gone gaga. Here is what I reasonably infer to be a typical Ninth Circuit judicial conference:

Scene: Ninth Circuit conference room. All judges are seated in a circle on the floor in full lotus position.

Chief Judge: Come to order. Everybody close your eyes and join hands. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

All: (complying) Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

C.J.: Anybody have anything to share?

Judge #1: I’d like to acknowledge all my brothers and sisters here for just being who they are. How miraculous is that?

All: Right on, sister!

Judge #2: And I’d like to acknowledge whoever brought these groovy beansprouts. They make me feel so at one with the Universe.

Judge #3: Well, I’d like to share that we have to rule on this habeas petition. Seems it was denied in District Court.

All: How judgmental of them!

Judge #3: The Yin and the Yang of it is that the petitioner has served 20 years on a 7-year to life sentence. They won’t parole him because he hasn’t got any marketable skills.

Judge #4: What marketable skills do they teach in Californina prisons?

C.J.: That’s not the point. Obviously there’s no such thing as an unmarketable skill in California. I’m flashing that the man has worked through his bad karma and should be released.

Judge #2: Surely he’ll be free in his next incarnation.

Judge #4: That reincarnation stuff is a lot of hooey.

Judge #2: How dare you? Come outside and we’ll settle this right now!

C.J.: Peace, everybody, let’s be high and see past our dissensions. Everybody join hands and say Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm.

All: Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

C.J.: Have some more beansprouts.

fade to the sound of crunching.

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
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