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These are all real decisions that you can look up.
Cavenaugh v. Groves, 1954. Michael Cavenaugh sued Tim Groves (curator of the local library) in an attempt to have a braille section installed. The 9th Circuit ruled that blind people don't matter. Chief Justice Ted Guiness reportedly made multiple rude gestures direct at Mr. Cavenaugh.
McMasters v. Thompson, 1899. Donald McMasters sued Ira Thompson over the legal custody of 17 Rhode Island Red chickens, claiming they were stolen. Thompson had already cooked all the chickens at a family reunion, and the Superior Court of New York (headed by chief justice John McMasters) ruled that each Thompson who partook of the meal owed McMasters a new chicken, totalling 41 chickens.
Wilson v. State of California, 1988. California Supreme Court rules that particularly adorable puppies be granted personhood.
Jameson v. Jameson, 1912. James Jameson accuses James Jameson of stealing his name. After a protracted court battle, county judge Benjamin Franklin Pierce ruled that both men had silly names and would have to choose something else.
And now for an actual excerpt from Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Of The United States John Roberts' dissent in Pennsylvania v. Dunlap, 2008:
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, with whom JUSTICE KENNEDY joins, dissenting from denial of certiorari.
North Philly, May 4, 2001. Officer Sean Devlin, Narcotics Strike Force, was working the morning shift. Undercover surveillance. The neighborhood? Tough as a threedollar steak. Devlin knew. Five years on the beat, nine months with the Strike Force. He’d made fifteen, twenty drug busts in the neighborhood. Devlin spotted him: a lone man on the corner. Another approached. Quick exchange of words. Cash handed over; small objects handed back. Each man then quickly on his own way. Devlin knew the guy wasn’t buying bus tokens. He radioed a description and Officer Stein picked up the buyer. Sure enough: three bags of crack in the guy’s pocket. Head downtown and book him. Just another day at the office.
That's some nice prose there, Chief!
See y'all next week, back here at CB & Potts!