SOB Story

     Want to make a name for yourself in the legal world?
     Try bad puns.
     And an irrelevant reference or two to something weird.
     Those of you who are judges, in particular, should use these techniques because, after all, you’ve got a captive reading audience and you’ll probably get press coverage.
     Yes, I’ve got a case in point.
     A federal judge’s ruling – on a request for a preliminary injunction – issued just a week ago has already found its way onto Wikipedia. Check it out.
     According to Wikipedia, the ruling, from a Texas federal judge named Fred Biery, has been described as the “world’s cheekiest written ruling” by a British newspaper and “one of the funniest, most eloquent court documents we’ve ever seen” by someone at The Huffington Post.
     I’m guessing neither of those writers has read an awful lot of rulings, but hyperbole is a wonderful thing. I’m not going to criticize.
     I’m not going to quote from the ruling in “The Case of the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bikini Top v. The (More) Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pastie” because I don’t want to spoil it for you. Go read it yourself.
     Are you back? Have you regained control of yourself? Have you recovered from the sight of Miss Wiggles? (I’m not explaining this if you haven’t looked at the ruling.)
     I do want to point out a couple of things.
     First off, the ordinance in question here requires background checks for strippers.
     Quick – what’s the first thing that pops into your head?
     No background checks for gun buyers, but those guys in Texas are going to protect us from potentially homicidal strippers.
     Hey, you could put an eye out with one of those tassels.
     The strippers also have to wear “identifying wristlets.”
     So you don’t confuse Peaches with Tiffany?
     So you don’t confuse the strippers with random passersby?
     So you know whom to stare at?
     Maybe they’re for the dollar bills.
     Your guess is as good as mine.
     Then there’s the matter of SOB studies. That’s “sexually oriented businesses.” It seems someone has very carefully studied this topic.
     Noted Judge Biery in a footnote: “The legislative record is 3,223 pages long and includes 93 studies.”
     And you thought legal research was boring.
     Finally – and I think this is important – it’s nice to know that a judge in his 60s can relax and have some fun.
     This is a good argument for those lifetime appointments.
     More Bench Fun: The judge in Texas isn’t the only guy having fun. Check out a ruling from the International Court of Trade called Victoria’s Secret Direct, LLC v. United States, in which a hard-working and meticulous judicial officer checked out the merchandise at issue himself, in camera.
     The question to be determined was whether an item imported by Victoria’s Secret was a T-shirt, a bra, or some other cotton garment.
     The ruling is 41 pages long. If you read it, you discover that the judge hearing this not only examined the merchandise himself, he also checked out Victoria’s Secret’s website.
     It pays to be thorough.
     The judge also heard testimony from a “professional fit model specializing in the fitting of lingerie and swimsuits.” He found the witness “to be credible based on her demeanor.”
     I’m sure he did this after careful study.

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