Friday, May 3, 2013

A Tip of the Hat to Judge Fred Biery

Sometimes, judges just have too much talent to be constricted by the dry style taught in law schools. A recent example of this has been making the rounds among my friends this week. The Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Fred Biery, shows some gifted turns of phrase in his decision.

The case of 35 Bar and Grille v. The City of San Antonio, a.k.a. The Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bikini Top v. The (More) Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pastie can be read here.  Quoting from the ruling really doesn't do it justice. "Thus the age-old question before the Court, now with Constitutional implications, is: Does size matter?" "Plaintiffs clothe themselves in the First Amendment seeking to provide cover against another alleged naked grab of unconstitutional power."

That's just the way it starts. It is only a few pages long. "An Appendix is attached for those interested in lengthy exposition, those who wish to appeal and those who suffer from insomnia." Ultimately, the request for a preliminary injunction by the Bar fails and I think the judge is hoping that the plaintiff recognizes a full trial isn't going to go well.

In terms of title, it is right up there with taking on Satan and his minions: Mayo v. Satan and his Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D. Pa. 1971.) Mr. Mayo lost on procedural grounds, because the Court wasn't sure it had jurisdiction over the defendant(s). This is not Judge Biery's problem.

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