Sunday, May 09, 2010

Legislation

Judicial humor is, and generally must be, very dry, but sometimes judicial opinions are worth reading. I liked this section of Janice Rodger Brown's judicial opinion in the most recent Newdow case, which recently came for appeal before the D.C. Circuit panel:

No amount of discovery will uncover the identities of the unnamed defendants. Therefore, by naming as defendants all persons the future President could possibly invite to administer an oath, lead a prayer, or help in the planning of these events, plaintiffs are essentially seeking a declaration of their rights accompanied by an injunction against the world. There is another name for that type of generally applicable relief: legislation. And that’s not within the power of the courts.

I'll have to remember "declaration of rights accompanied by an injunction against the world"; it summarizes in a straightforward way why I think working for rights through the courts doesn't generally work well.

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