Friday, August 23, 2013
Ind. Courts - Literary References in Indiana Appellate Opinions
Commentary by Joel Schumm, professor at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law
The two newest members of the Indiana Supreme Court have included literary references in recent opinions. Just yesterday in Becker v. State, Justice Rush began the opinion by quoting Shakespeare (“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”) and Gertrude Stein (“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.").
In March, Justice Massa began Walczak v. Labor Works as follows: "James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916), our celebrated 'Hoosier Poet,' is widely credited with the origination of the Duck Test; as he expressed it, '[w]hen I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.'”
There are surely many others, which we would like to collect and post next week. Please email your favorite literary reference from an Indiana Supreme Court or Indiana Court of Appeals opinion.
I'll get the ball rolling with the following from Justice Boehm's 2003 concurring opinion on rehearing in the In re Wilkins disciplinary opinion:
The votes of the Chief Justice and Justice Dickson are to grant rehearing as to the sanction only, and to impose a public reprimand. Justice Sullivan and I would vote for no sanction at all. But if neither of us joins in the result reached by Justice Dickson and the Chief Justice, we have no majority to grant rehearing as to any aspect of the original opinion and Wilkins’ thirty-day suspension stands. Lewis Carroll would love that result: half the Court believes no sanction is appropriate, and half would impose a small sanction, so the result is a major penalty. Only those who love the law could explain that to their children. To free parents everywhere from that burden, I concur in the result of granting rehearing as to the sanction and reducing it to a public reprimand.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 23, 2013 01:19 PM
Posted to Schumm - Commentary