Patterico's Pontifications


Judges Having Fun

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

As I catch up on news from the last several days, two legal opinions jumped out at me that I thought were worth sharing with you.

The first is an order from a Texas judge regarding a First Amendment dispute over the size of the clothing covering strip club dancers’ breasts in San Antonio. The order is here. A news article about it is here. The order has the sort of double entendres you might expect from a Texas judge in a case like this:

An ordinance dealing with semi-nude dancers has once again fallen into the city’s lap. The City of San Antonio (“City”) wants exotic dancers employed by Plantiffs to wear larger pieces of fabric to cover more of the female breast. Thus, the age old question before the Court, now with constitutional implications, is: Does size matter?

But the part that really makes this post-worthy is the judge’s twist on the term “amicus curiae”:

Plaintiffs clothe themselves in the First Amendment seeking to provide cover against another alleged naked grab of unconstitutional power.

Plaintiffs, and by extension their customers, seek an erection of a constitutional wall separating themselves from the regulatory power of City government.

While the Court has not received amicus curiae briefs, the Court has been blessed with volunteers known in South Texas as ‘curious amigos’ to be inspectors general to perform on sight visits at the locations in question.

Yes, I think he meant “on sight.”

Heh. I think I will remember that “curious amigos” line for a long time.

The second has to do with Prenda Law, the outfit that goes around suing people for copyright violations for downloading pornographic videos, while engaging in tactics and statements that many have described as dishonest. The latest to use that description is a federal judge. Ken from Popehat has covered this saga like a blanket knit by your Grandma for her twelve nephews who slept together in the same bed. Ken has a post about the judge’s latest and greatest order here. That order is filled with Star Trek references, beginning with this one:

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
—Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

In this case, it’s not really the double entendres or references themselves that are so satisfying, but rather what the judge does with them. Imagine going up against dishonest scumbags in litigation, and having the judge “get it” so thoroughly that he refers them for criminal prosecution:

It was when the Court realized Plaintiffs engaged their cloak of shell companies and fraud that the Court went to battlestations.

. . . .

Third, though Plaintiffs boldly probe the outskirts of law, the only enterprise they resemble is RICO. The federal agency eleven decks up is familiar with their prime directive and will gladly refit them for their next voyage. The Court will refer this matter to the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. The Court will also refer this matter to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and will notify all judges before whom these attorneys have pending cases.


It’s good to be the king judge.

BONUS: Judge rages at the Obama administration: ”You’re disadvantaging young people, African-Americans, the poor — that’s the policy of the Obama administration?”

10 Responses to “Judges Having Fun”

  1. Ding?

    Patterico (7d8398)

  2. Steele’s comments to press after Wright’s ruling are unbelievable.

    SPQR (9b6a66)

  3. What did Steele say?

    I also like Judge Biery’s “curious amigos” quip. In the future, it will be hard not to smile when I see or hear references to amicus briefs.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  4. Lost in all of this Plan B histronics is more erosion of parental authority. Every 12,13,14 y/o who buys this is a statutory rape victim. Thanks, judge.

    Bill M (dc386c)

  5. “Obviously we don’t agree on the ruling,” Steele said. “Judge Wright based his order on an eight-minute hearing where there was no testimony, no evidence introduced. ”

    Ignoring that he pled the Fifth, and that he didn’t show up for the previous hearing that spent more than two hours in testimony from the people who did.

    SPQR (768505)

  6. And my favorite from Ars Technica:

    Steele told AVN that it is his understanding that Livewire Holdings, one of the entities identified by Judge Wright—by way of an actual Prenda relationship chart included in the order—as being a member of the Prenda family, “is filing multiple new cases this week.”

    “Hopefully,” he added defiantly, “the pirate that got away in this matter will be caught and brought to justice down the road.”

    SPQR (768505)

  7. Steele dissented, telling AVN, “The hearing regarding me in March was 12 minutes long and there was no evidence or testimony admitted. I have never had any ownership interest in AF Holdings, Ingenuity13, or Prenda Law and no evidence otherwise was ever presented. I am not an attorney in this matter, and have never practiced law in California. In fact the first time I heard of this case was when Mr. Gibbs told me he got an Order to Show Cause in February 2013 regarding this case.”

    He continued, “I would also comment that the attorneys representing myself, Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and the others were not allowed to make argument nor were we allowed to present witnesses. And normally with orders regarding sanctions, the Court will point to evidence, testimony, or something to explain the sanction. In this order, there is nothing.”

    A brazen lie.

    SPQR (768505)

  8. Thanks, SPQR.

    This isn’t a judge having fun but it is an interesting decision: Judge Rules in Favor of Cheerleaders’ Religious Banners.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. DRJ, at your service, dear lady.

    SPQR (768505)

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