March 4, 2005

A painful oral argument.

Christine Hurt calls attention to this argument (audio link) before a Seventh Circuit panel, where a lawyer finds himself at a terrible loss for words facing the reality that his case is governed by a Supreme Court precedent that the circuit court can do nothing about. He resorts to saying that he's disturbed by what the Supreme Court did, and a judge hits him with:
Well, you can be disturbed on your own time. Why are you intruding on mine?

UPDATE: An emailer writes:
When I read your item about the Seventh Circuit argument, and the judge's jab about being disturbed on his own time, I immediately thought it sounded like Judge Bauer. I was a staff attorney at the Seventh Circuit from 1978-1980, and he was probably my favorite judge from that court. So I clicked on the link, and sure enough, it was Judge Bauer.

Here is a personal Judge Bauer anecdote. When I was getting out of law school in 1977, about to go clerk at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, I realized that I was going to need more suits. So I went to this warehouse-like place in the Boston area and bought some cheap suits. One of them was a salmon-colored suit with very strange lapels (hey, it was a different era back then). After my year in Madison, when I moved on to the 7th Cir., I had to take in a motion to Judge Bauer one day, and I happened to be wearing my salmon suit that day. Judge Bauer said, "Hey! Where did you get that pimp suit?" As you will probably guess, I never wore the suit to work again.

Ah, the 70s! Imagine even being able to think you could wear such a suit into court! [ADDED: The motions were made in the judge's chambers, not in the courtroom ... but still...]

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