July 12, 2004

Matto Ichiban: One Monday

by Guest Contributor

On a Monday like most others
As I sat at work and wondered
Wondered what the Nine would hold,
Wondered how the law'd unfold
Unto the land from up on high
As from a tower in the sky,
To show us all the immortal way:
What the Constitution had to say.

The case was much anticipated
And long in coming, seeming fated
From the start to be a watershed;
A matter great come to head
of Criminal Procedure, lately
the talk of matters stately:

Campaigns would be won or lost,
Promises once made would bear a cost
Depending on the decision rendered
This Monday morning by the members
Of this highest Court in the land;
On its word would fortunes stand.

The Justices entered, and the voices' din
Was soon hushed as the Nine marched in;
Anticipation flashed in every eye
As they knew the moment drew nigh
When the question of the day would be answered,
Divined out by the legalmancers.

But soon the eyes of hope faded
As it became apparent that the graded
Faces of the Nine betrayed great discontent
With the moment; and rent
Of its finality, became infused
With the stares and murmers of the confused.

No single opinion garnered more
Than one Justice's support.
And each in turn did voice
His or her choice:

Ginsberg then began the show:
"I would reverse the court below.
They did err in finding cause probable;
To search defendant's car, and though laudable
Were the state's goals or stopping crime,
Methinks they did tread too far this time."

"Poppycock!" came a voice from the right,
As Thomas stood, and with all his legal might
Explained: "She brought it on herself!
Soliciting for prostitution because the welf-
are checks couldn't pay the bills. With nothing more,
The police could surely look inside her door."

Quoth the Rehnquist: "She's a whore!"
(He wrote this and nothing more).

"Though I too think PC is lack,"
Interjected Breyer, "the crack
Is surely allowed through the vehicular answer"
[Lance Armstrong had testicular cancer]
"to the search and seizure question,
Which, to now, nary a Justice has mentioned."

Justice Antonin Scalia fumed in dissent
And true to his textualist bent
Waxed philosophical at the meaning of "search"
In 1791 for thirty minutes, and still perched
On the bench up high did decide
That the police were surely allowed inside.

John Paul Stevens did have enough
And got up from his seat to huff
About the natural rights of Man
To be free from a governmental plan,
To wit, allowing officers to be sent
Into a private sphere without a warrant.

Souter, too, sounded this alarm,
But differed as to the projected harm:
"What we have here," quod he,
"Is a failure for the police to see
That their actions were clearly lawless,
And without a civil remedy the law is clawless."

O'Connor stood after all the rest,
And simply proposed a ballancing test:
"The law" she stated "is simply wrong,
And deciding matters takes much too long,
So for justice in the land to be,
Judges must answer these questions three..."

But Kennedy, O Kennedy, had no opinion at all,
He abstained, and waited in the hall.
His third cousin, being twice removed,
Was a boyfriend to the presently accused.
So out of an abundance of caution,
He abdicated his judicial function.

Thus the case passed into memory,
No resolution reached, just a panoply
Of words from the highest court in the land,
Nine Justices, Nine differing minds.

Dont quit your day job Ichi...

July 12, 2004 10:33 PM | TrackBack
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