Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Today the Justices of the Supreme Court proved once again that they have perhaps the best job in the world. Not only -- as the old British comedy routine said about the cushiness of a judge's worklife -- that there is a complete absence of falling coal. More than that, it's that they have just about the only job I can think of where one can say, without any adverse consequences whatsoever, "you know how I said I was going to do the such-and-such task? well, it turns out that it's more complicated than I thought, and not nearly so interesting. so I'm not going to do it." That's what they did today in Abdur-Rahman v. Bell, just as they did it a few weeks ago in Ford Motor Co. v. McCauley. In both cases, there was a belatedly-recognized question as to whether the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction, under the complicated procedural rules governing such things; and so rather than decide whether they had jurisdiction or not (and then, if appropriate, reach the "merits" question they had meant to consider), they said "dismiss as improvidently granted." I wish that I had that option, sometimes: "this brief is going off on a tangent, and a boring one. forget it -- I'm not going to write it after all." But then again, there's a complete absence of falling coal in my office, too, so I can't really complain.
posted by sam 11:14 AM
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