Posts Tagged ‘Legal Humor’

Mike’s Oklahoma “Solution” (Limerick)

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

As the fight over Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage heads to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, Oklahoma Rep. Mike Turner (R-Edmond) is worried that gay marriage might prevail. And being desperate to combat the scourge of same-sex marriage, Turner has drafted a shell bill to use in case the case doesn’t go his way:

Mike’s Oklahoma “Solution” (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Mike Turner’s prevailed in his hunt
For an anti-same-sex marriage stunt.
If you’re gay or you’re straight
You can’t wed in his state,
Says his bill; Equal rights — Mike’s out front.

Limerick Ode To Same Sex Marriage

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Will Femia, over at MaddowBlog, has challenged us to a “good old-fashioned marriage equality limericking bee.” Here’s my contribution:

Limerick Ode To Same Sex Marriage
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Same sex couples are quick to endorse
The spread of gay marriage, of course.
But the happiest folks
Are THESE women and blokes:
Hungry lawyers who handle divorce.

Limerick Ode To DOMA’s Demise

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Most experts seem to think the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down DOMA, thereby ending the federal ban on benefits to gay spouses. The question is: Will they do it based upon equal protection, or states’ rights? The former (seemingly supported by the four liberal Supremes) is vastly preferable, but the later appears more likely; the perennial swing judge, Justice Anthony Kennedy, is more of a states’ rights kinda guy.

Limerick Ode To DOMA’s Demise
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m GLAD to hear DOMA’s in trouble.
But will Justices safe in their bubble
Concede that it’s wrong,
Beat the gong, say so long
To treating gay couples like rubble?

Promiscuous Law-Making (Limerick)

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Republican creativity never ceases to amaze me. Here’s the latest in Iowa’s battle against teenage promiscuity:

Seven Republicans in the Iowa House are pushing a bill to prohibit parents of minor children from getting a “no fault” divorce and the proposal could be debated in a House committee this week.

A three-member subcommittee debated the bill today. Representative Tedd Gassman, a Republican from Scarville, said he’s concerned about the negative impact divorce has on children.

“In my opinion, it’s time to look out for the children instead of constantly worrying about the adults,” Gassman said.

Representative Gassman said the issue is “near and dear” to his heart because his daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, putting his granddaughter at risk.

“There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?” Gassman said. “What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?”

Promiscuous Law-Making (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If your children are minors, watch out!
You may have to stay wed to that lout:
It seems no-fault divorce
May be nixed, as of course,
By Iowan wingnuts with clout.

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I’ve been meaning to write about Antonin Scalia’s obnoxious Voting Rights Act comments. Something tells me he’d be a bit more enthused about the law, if the people it protected tended to vote Republican.

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Scalia gave quite the recital
With that “racial entitlement” title
He “bestowed” on the vote,
Fearing Dem voter bloat:
To Scalia, such voters ain’t vital.

Trumped Up Lawsuit (Limerick)

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

You don’t have to be a “recovering lawyer” like me to know that such a lawsuit would be frivolous:

During a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last month, Maher quipped that Trump must be “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan” (Exhibit A: his orange hair). In a riff off of Trump’s own offer to give $5 million to the charity of Barack Obama’s choice if the President released his college paperwork, Maher said he would do the same for Trump if the real estate mogul supplied proof that he is not descended from an ape.

Trump, who apparently was able to prove he wasn’t fathered by an orangutan, has announced on Fox & Friends that he’s suing for the $5 million.

Trumped Up Lawsuit (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A man who I’d rather not mention
Is relentlessly seeking attention:
With his Birther schtick stale,
He is desp’rate to nail
Lots of cov’rage through lawsuit dissension.

A Driving Attack On Corporate Personhood (Limerick)

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

I can’t help admiring the audacity and creativity of this fellow’s Citizens United-inspired legal argument:

A driver in San Rafael, California is attempting to appeal a traffic citation for driving alone in a High Occupancy Vehicle lane. Jonathan Frieman and his attorney, Ford Greene, argue that since Frieman had corporate incorporation papers in his car when he was stopped by an officer, he was actually carpooling at the time…

He’s sworn to chase the case all the way to the Supreme Court should the first trial not go his way in an attempt to “expose the impracticality of corporate personhood.”

A Driving Attack On Corporate Personhood (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m not driving alone, said the guy
In the HOV lane, and here’s why:
Corp’rate personhood rules,
And my corp files, you fools,
Are right here. My defense — you must buy!

Limerick Ode To Astrotweeters

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The astrotweet — yet another reason not to believe (or spread) those political tweets littered all over Twitter:

The research on astrotweeting, though too tangential to my book, is worth flagging for readers. In this paper, the authors describe how political operatives set up fake accounts to spread rumors or false statements about candidates. This is done in a way to make it appear as though the information is coming from numerous sources, to convey the impression that the information is reliable.

Limerick Ode To Astrotweeters
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Political op’rative geeks
Use various sneaky techniques.
They spread lies via tweets:
Astrotweeting — those cheats
Should be jailed for their libelous leaks.

Limerick Ode To Clarence Thomas

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is under scrutiny these days for conflicts of interest related to the Koch Brothers, the Federalist Society, and the Citizens United case.

But today’s limerick and haiku will focus, instead, on the fact that Thomas hasn’t asked a single appellate hearing question in five years.

For the record, I did quite a bit of litigation work during my lawyering years. And believe me, his failure to speak throughout five years of hearings is peculiar and reflects very poorly on his judicial skills.

That brings me to my Clarence Thomas limerick:

Limerick Ode To Clarence Thomas
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m mindful that Thomas can talk,
But at queries for hearings he’ll balk.
He’s been silent for years–
Five in all. I’m all ears.
If he asks one sharp question, I’ll gawk.

And here’s my Clarence Thomas haiku:

The Sup Court’s Thomas–
Too ill-informed for queries?
Or just too lazy?

UPDATE: It’s been nearly two years since I wrote this limerick and haiku. So in fairness, I must announce that Justice Thomas has finally broken his silence.

Now mind you, he didn’t ask a sharp question … or, indeed, any question: He merely made a mildly amusing four-word (or so) remark about lawyers who went to Yale.

Still … it’s a start.

Supreme Story

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Way back in 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated a brilliant lawyer for a seat on the federal appeals court based in the District of Columbia.

Alas, that lawyer never got to the D.C. bench. Indeed, the brilliant nominee never even got to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You see, the lawyer suffered from a fatal flaw — she’d been named by a Democratic President, and her appointment would shift the balance of a very important court. So Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blocked her nomination, refusing to schedule a hearing.

Disappointed but undaunted, the brilliant lawyer pursued other legal opportunities over the years and achieved great success.

More than a decade after this ill-fated nomination, the federal bench beckoned once again. But this time it was a nomination to the highest court of the land.

Getting a hearing wasn’t a problem this time. A hearing where Senator Hatch and his fellow Republicans would look askance at the brilliant lawyer, complaining she lacked the very judicial experience they had denied her.

Who was that brilliant lawyer? Elena Kagan.

And now you know… the rest of the story.

Related Posts: Robin Ghivan Makes Me Cross, Why I’ll Never Be A Supreme Court Justice, Leery About Elena, and Obama’s What???

Why I’ll Never Be A Supreme Court Justice

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

As the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss points out, the U.S. Supreme Court is packed with graduates of Harvard Law and Yale Law:

Assuming President Obama wins confirmation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, that august body will be exclusively filled with judges who earned their law degrees at Harvard or Yale.

Strauss thinks such exclusivity is a bad idea and, as you can tell from this limerick, so do I:

Why I’ll Never Be A Supreme Court Justice
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It appears that Supremes have to hail
From the law schools of Harvard or Yale.
My law school’s St. John’s.
That’s just one of my “cons.”
Plus I’m sixty — I might as well bail.

Leery About Elena

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Apparently, anti-Kagan attacks from the right have been inspiring some liberals to rally around her. But I’m not among them. Not yet, anyway.

Now for all I know, Elena Kagan may be a closet liberal. I sure hope so. But so far there’s little to suggest that Kagan’s any more liberal than President Obama, and that scares me.

Leery About Elena (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There’s no doubt that Ms. Kagan’s quite smart.
Some say brilliant, but does she have heart?
We’ve a liberal hole.
Will she fill it with soul,
Or tip the court “right” from the start?

Obama’s What???

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

How amusing! We’ve moved from “Obama’s Katrina” to “Obama’s Harriet Miers.” Yes, wingnutty Republicans are invoking Harriet Miers in discussing Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Sorry, Redstate and the rest of you, the answer to “Will this be President Obama’s Harriet Miers Moment?” is “No!”

That brings me to my latest limerick:

Obama’s What???
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“Obama’s Katrina,” they say.
“Obama’s H. Miers,” they pray.
To the wingnuts give thanks
For reminding the ranks
Of the many ways Bush went astray.

Related Posts: U.S. Supreme Court Humor

Mitt Romney: Constitutionally Confused

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Credit where credit is due: When it comes to self-contradiction, Mitt Romney is both fearless and peerless.

Once a staunch advocate of individual health insurance mandates — the Massachusetts governor who ardently defended their constitutionality — Romney has flip-flopped. Now that they’re required by the Democrats’ Affordable Care Act, they’ve magically turned unconstitutional.

Of course, constant flip-flops can be hard on the constitution. So it’s no surprise that Mitt Romney was for individual mandates before he was against them.

That brings me to my latest limerick:

Mitt Romney: Constitutionally Confused
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Individual mandates are great,
Said Mitt re Mass. health bill’s debate.
Now he swears that they’re awful
And even unlawful.
Your claims, my dear Mitt — get them straight.

Tough Negotiators, Those Bushies!

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I practiced law for over a dozen years and negotiated lots of contracts. And, unlike the Bush administration, I always kept my poker face. Why? Because if you want the best possible deal, you must make the other party think that he needs you more than you need him.

So, for example, when you tell banks that they’re too big to fail, you disincentivize them from cooperating, or even telling you the truth. That’s why I’m not surprised that 13 of the “top 23 private recipients of taxpayer-funded bailouts under the $700 billion program” enacted by the Bush administration “owed more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes” and that they lied about it on their TARP contracts.

Why bother being honest? After all, it’s not as if Bush’s Treasury Department made them back up their statements with actual tax records. Of course not — they were too big to fail.

This brings me to my latest limerick:

Tough Negotiators, Those Bushies!
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear bank, we can not let you fail.
You’re too big. Pay no mind if we wail
That you owe us back tax.
Do not worry. Relax!
Cuz that huge bailout check’s in the mail.

Finally, A John McCain Statement I Can Agree With

Monday, October 6th, 2008

At first, I was amused by John McCain’s bitter-sounding “life isn’t fair” remark.

Asked why Obama has been rising as the Wall Street crisis has dominated attention, McCain said with a chuckle on Fox News Channel: “Because life isn’t fair.”

But on second thought, I’ve decided McCain is right:

Finally, A McCain Statement I  Can Agree With
By Madeleine Begun Kane

McCain’s very wrong about war
And on health care and taxes and more.
But he’s right (though it’s rare)
With his “life isn’t fair,”
Cuz what else could explain Bush v. Gore?

A Do-Over Supreme Court Test For Palin?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

According to Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin’s inability to name a single Supreme Court case she disagrees with wasn’t her fault.  Why not?  Because Katie Couric didn’t give her a list of cases.    I half-expected Thompson to demand  a do-over test.

A Do-Over Supreme Court Test For Palin?
By Madeleine Begun Kane

You’re excused, dear Ms. Palin. Rejoice!
Now that Thompson has lent you his voice,
The court case-test you flunked
Has been strongly debunked
As unfair — wasn’t  multiple choice.