YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS AN APPELLATE SENSE OF HUMOR
[Posted February 14, 2007] Anyone who knows me will readily acknowledge that I esteem a sense of humor. I love to laugh, and always appreciate the opportunity to laugh in places where one might not normally find humor. My CLE presentations are usually peppered with jokes (I figure there’s nothing better than laughing and getting CLE credit for it), and when the rare opinion comes down with a wry note or two, it always stands out.
Some judges are famous for their witty lines; a judge I cited in this space recently, Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, is one such. Former US Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun often injected a funny line in the midst of a dry discourse, thus making my law school experience a tad more bearable.
In the spirit of this, I offer you the fact that today, Valentine’s Day, the Fourth Circuit hands down US v. Love .
Now, it’s entirely possible that this is merely coincidence; that this opinion just happened to make its way through the juridical process and would have been handed down today even if today were August 12th. But no; the timing is just too perfect, leading me to conclude that someone up in Richmond possesses both a robe and a sense of humor (or at least a sense of irony), and ensured that this opinion got held until today for release.
The suspects in this case are Judges Motz and Gregory and Senior Judge Hamilton. The short opinion is per curiam, so there’s no telling who wrote it. Whichever of you did it, you now have a fan down here in Virginia Beach.