Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Logophiles Unite!

Logophiles will appreciate the nice body of work that Judge Ferdinand Francis Fernandez has constructed over the past 15 years or so on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Enjoy the following sampling:

"But let that be, at least after today's didactic exercise a district judge will be able to incant canorous [richly melodious, tuneful] phrases which will please our ears." (Kearney v. Standard Ins. Co., 175 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 1999) (dissenting).)

"They indicate that it takes no genius or epopt [one instructed in the mysteries of a secret system] to see what the message will be." (Committee to Save Mokelumme River v. East Bay Mun. Utility Dist., 13 F.3d 305 (9th Cir. 1993) (concurring).)

"To put it another way, absent a compelling reason the district court cannot have abused its discretion, but it would take a better haruspex [a diviner in ancient Rome who bases predictions on inspection of the entrails of sacrificial animals] than I to divine that from the opinion." (United States v. Garett, 179 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 1999) (concurring).)

"The district court, with that perceptive and informed sententiousness [terse, aphoristic or moralistic in expression] that often characterizes the work of our district judges, said that: Merely because Bear Stearns was hired as an expert consultant to render financial services does not mean it was in a position of superiority in this relationship between two sophisticated business entities." (In re Daisy Sys. Corp., 97 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 1996) (dissenting).)

"I will not undertake to burden, bore or ensorcell [bewitch or enchant] the reader by glossing what the Montana Supreme Court actually wrote when it decided this case." (Smith v. McCormick, 914 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1990) (concurring and dissenting).)

"Perhaps Congress should resile [recoil, return to a prior position] from its sentencing experiment." (United States v. Valdez-Gonzalez, 957 F.2d 643 (9th Cir. 1992) (dissenting).)

"So plan it seems, it would take a marvelous act of interpretation, bordering on thaumaturgy [the performance of miracles], to read the constitution the Tribe's jurisdictional reach beyond the norm." (Bugenig v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, 266 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir. 2001) (dissenting).)

"No matter how timorous or cautious we are about religion, the city's action cannot be seen as minatory [having a menacing quality]." (Paulson v. City of San Diego, 294 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 2002) (dissenting).)

"If the statement did present a problem, I hardly think that the City can place a tarnkappe [a magic cap securing the invisibility of the wearer] over the policy's reification of hostility at the threshold by adding that requirement." (Gentala v. City of Tucson, 244 F.3d 1065 (9th Cir. 2001) (dissenting).)

"My reading of the stelliscript [a writing in the stars] suggests that upon Newdow's theory of our constitution, accepted by my colleagues today, we will soon find ourselves prohibited from using our album of patriotic songs in many public settings." (Newdow v. United States Congress, 292 F.3d 597 (9th Cir. 2002) (concurring and dissenting).)

"Moreover, the statute speaks with enough clarity to permit (nay require) one to stop with its own words, rather than undertaking to stravage [roam] in a wilderness of possible legislative purposes." (Kang v. U. Lim Am. Inc., 296 F.3d 810 (9th Cir. 2002) (dissenting).)

"To say that, does not enisle [to isolate or make an island of] this country, although it does not recognize that we are a separate nation." (Dillingham v. INS, 267 F.3d 996 (9th Cir. 2001) (dissenting).)

"In other words, whether your interests are driven by news, need or nebbiness [impertinent interference or spite], your rights under FOIA are the same." (FLRA v. United States Dept. of Navy, 958 F.2d 1490, 1498 (9th Cir. 1992) (dissenting).)

(HT, R. Crissell, "Are You a Logophile?", California Lawyer, November, 2004, p. 33.)