Verse in Opinion II

Anderson Greenwood & Co. v. NLRB.

Our decision in Robbins Tire,
Interpreting Congresses’ reported desires, Exposed workers to their bosses’ ire.
The High Court, avoiding this sticky quagmire,
And fearing employers would threaten to fire,
Sent our holding to the funeral pyre.
Then along came Clements Wire,
Soon after its venerable sire.
To elections, Wire extended Tire,
Leaving app’llees arguments higher and drier.
Now to colors our focus must shift,
To Green wood and stores that are Red.
We hope this attempt at a rhyme, perhaps two,
Has not left this audience feeling too blue.

Pulp in Opinion

Chief Justice Roberts shows off his literary chops by opening one opinion with a passage that reads straight out of Dashiell Hammett pulp:

North Philly, May 4, 2001. Officer Sean Devlin, Narcotics Strike Force, was working the morning shift. Undercover surveillance. The neighborhood? Tough as a three-dollar steak. Devlin knew. Five years on the beat, nine months with the Strike Force. He’d made fifteen, twenty drug busts in the neighborhood.

Devlin spotted him: a lone man on the corner. Another approached. Quick exchange of words. Cash handed over; small objects handed back. Each man then quickly on his own way. Devlin knew the guy wasn’t buying bus tokens. He radioed a description and Officer Stein picked up the buyer. Sure enough: three bags of crack in the guy’s pocket. Head downtown and book him. Just another day at the office.

Pennsylvania v. Dunlap.

Verse in Opinion I

More verse in opinions please:

We thought that we would never see

A suit to compensate a tree.

A suit whose claim in tort is prest

Upon a mangled tree’s behest;

A tree whose battered trunk was prest

Against a Chevy’s crumpled crest;

A tree that faces each new day

With bark and limb in disarray;

A tree that may forever bear

A lasting need for tender care.

Flora lovers though we three,

We must uphold the court’s decree.

Fisher v. Lowe, 333 NW 2d 67 (1983).


This is apparently a parody of Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Trees.”