Archive for the ‘de minimis non curat lex’ Category

for the public good

March 5, 2008

I have to take a short break from working on my pro bono case to share this with the blogcinity.

The case is an asylum proceeding, which means my research is mainly cases about immigration law. That in turn means that the case captions I come across are usually something along the lines of [crazy immigrant name] vs. [then-current US Attorney General]. Now I have nothing against crazy immigrant name. I have something of a crazy immigrant name myself. And having such, I’ve frequently maintained that most crazy immigrant names are managable if you just sort of sound it out.

But nothing in my life prepared me for this:

Xhevgjet KLLOKOQI v.Alberto R. GONZALES, Attorney General of the United States, 439 F.3d 336 (7th Cir. 2005)

This is hands down the strangest name ever. God Shammgod has nothing on this.

“That’s a typo,” a friend of mine declared. “It’s like they missed the keyboard slightly,” I agreed. Which got me thinking that maybe they HAD missed the keyboard. So I gave it a shot. Shifting left yielded Zgwcfhwr Jkkiji u (yes there’s a [tab] in there); shifting right got me Cjrbhky L;;plwo. So not a lot of progress there.

Then I recalled the Caesar cipher, which we all remember as kids from like Boys’ Life magazine or whatever, where you shift the letters up or down a certain amount. I found an online shifter set to 21, which got me more gibberish, but I knocked it up to 22 and the skies cleared. Here, I reproduce for you all 26 possible shifts as produced in a handy Excel spreadsheet that I got here and modified slightly.


So there you have it. Xhevgjet Kllokoqi is just a clever code name for Blizknix Oppsosum, who I can only assume is some sort of drunken marsupial supervilliain. OK. So that’s kind of how I amuse myself as I go through life. I should get back to work before they fire my ass.


Valuable Research Tidbit of the Day

February 25, 2007

Bontkowski v. Smith, 305 F.3d 757
170AXI Dismissal
170AXI(B) Involuntary Dismissal
70AXI(B)4 Particular Actions, Insufficiency of Pleadings in
170Ak1781 k. In general.
In cases in which plaintiffs complain about electrodes being implanted in their brains by inhabitants of far-off galaxies, a district court can dismiss the complaint, even though it makes factual allegations, without bothering to take any evidence. Fed.Rules Civ.Proc.Rule 12(b)(6), 28 U.S.C.A.

The Supreme Court post

October 4, 2005

Supreme Court nominations are a funny thing; you wait for eleven years and nothing happens, then you get two in a row, and in this way, nominations are much like the 136 express bus in Chicago.

I think we’re all a little confused by the selection of Harriet Miers when so many capable jurists were overlooked. Our intrepid Chief Executive missed a chance to unite the county by making a truly unprecedented appointment from an as-yet untapped pool of jurisprudential talent. Yes, once again, our many TV judges have been passed over despite their proven abilities to definitively settle hot-button issues while still dispensing Scaliaesque levels of sass. And while Joe Brown, Alex, Mablean Ephraim, Judy, Larry Joe (TEXAS JUSTICE!) et al would all make fine appointments, I think we all know that snubbing Judge Mathis is a national embarrassment on par with Watergate or post-Paradise Theater Styx.

Envision, if you will, the benefits of Mathis, C.J. First of all, we’d improve judicial efficiency. No more protracted appeals. We’d get through presentation of briefs, oral arguments, deliberation, and an opinion four times in every jam-packed sixty minute session. Second, odds are pretty good that while other Justices would be asking ticky-tack questions about “precedent” or “personal liberty,” Justice Mathis would get the Solicitor General to admit that he was totally hopped up on crystal meth that one time, and yes, he did use to be in a relationship with opposing counsel, but that’s all in the past, and he is not the father. (Ideally opposing counsel would respond with “Judge, he lying.”) But the great thing about Justice Mathis is that as long as you admit that stuff and don’t try to make a fool out of him, he’s still happy to rule in your favor. If ever the inscription “Equal Justice Under Law” on the Supreme Court building was embodied in a human being, surely that human is Greg Mathis.

So why wasn’t Mathis nominated? My sources in the White House tell me it was mostly bad luck. Apparently, before Dubya picked Roberts and Miers, he had a somewhat different short list of potential candidates. Unfortunately, Cheney had to inform the President that Judge Reinhold possessed no legal training, and that Judge Doom (although a big favorite among the Dip industry folks) was in fact a fictional half-cartoon villain from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? After these humbling setbacks, Dubya was in no mood to take a chance on the Mathis that he saw in the moving-picture box every weekday at 3 and resigned himself to picking only people he had been personally able to shake hands with and nickname.

OK, so my sources in the White House are complete fabrications. Where’s my New York Times columnist gig?