Legal realism, Article III and life’s daily hassles

Last night, while I was asleep, our basement flooded. My wife, Joan, discovered it early this morning. Joan called the plumber and he came right out. Joan has suck with plumbers. He fixed part of the problem that dealt with the floor drain. There is another problem with the water heater–it has now decided to pump Lake Erie into the floor drain. My wife will see to that fix as well. I am staying home, at least for the morning. I lean against the wall with my arms crossed, and I nod sagely as Joan converses knowingly with the workmen. I don’t know what she would do without me. After all, I am an Article III judge.


28 responses

  1. So what you’re saying is that President Obama should appoint Joan to the US District Court for the District of Nebraska while you retire to a life of leaning against walls and nodding. That or hiding in her Article III private bathroom.

  2. Can’t you just sua sponte issue an order to the water and the drain. A writ of habeas ariditas, perhaps?

  3. Judge: Did you mean “Joan has luck with plumbers”? Spell check wouldn’t have caught “suck” in place of “luck.” Yet another reason why I have my computer’s text-to-speech function read most things to me.

  4. Charlie,

    Of course, why didn’t I think of that.

    You must be one of us or soon to be nominated to be one of us–the old writ of habeas ariditas trick is a secret of our priesthood. Anyway, since we can walk on it, the elevated, such as I, ought to easily make water disappear. (Fist bump!)

    All the best.


  5. Lauren,

    I used “suck” as “to cause (someone) to become involved or interested in something.” See the fourth definition in the English Language Learners Dictionary by Merriam-Webster. I am very much an English language learner, as this blog proves over and over again.

    All the best.


  6. Ah. I assumed “luck” because I’ve never heard “suck” used as a synonym for “pull.” That does make more sense in this context. Learn something new every day.

  7. Well, RGK, I think I’d stick with the word “luck”, although it is interesting to see how funny folks can talk from different areas of the country. I am a mechanical idiot – heck, my secretary even has to change the stapler!! And, while I’m not an Article III Judge, I am completely unable to fight my way through any home improvement projects! Hey, we can’t do everything!

  8. Someone once told me that behind every great man is an even greater woman with a foot up his ass. I feel quite fortunate to one in my life. Some days I wonder if I would leave the house with my trousers on backwards if she wasn’t there.

  9. Hopefully this is an isolated incidence (flooding of basement). Otherwise do yourself and your wife a favor and Buy a New Home!!! Merry Christmas!!! Tell Santa!!!

  10. So, no one answered the question. How about that? To the Southern Law Student, if he did leave with his pants backwards and she didn’t tell him, would that make her a superior wife or an inferior one?

    Before I got into trouble, everyone treated Sharon, my wife, with the greatest degree of courtesy, friendship and respect. During the fight for my professional life, no one gave a damn if we lived or died. Not to say you would do anything to make the wrath of Kahn come down on you, but if it did, would people reach out for her, knowing that your career had come to an end and that the loss of your livelihood and position would also end hers?

    And for someone not to know what you meant by “suck” just shows you how much those who appear before you don’t understand what you mean.

  11. Knowing her, it’d probably make her a superior wife because the only way that would happen was if she was teaching me a lesson for failing to do dishes again. It has the best hallmarks of a memorable lesson: maximum short-term humiliation with a minimum of physical damage.

  12. And, Mr. Duckman, I don’t know you personally, but I just wanted to say that I read the opinion from 1996 after reading your post. And, well, it was a learning experience that scared the hell out of me. Thank you for sharing some of your story, and I wish that you hadn’t gotten railroaded.

  13. [S]ince we can walk on it, the elevated, such as I, ought to easily make water disappear.

    A fallacy. Walking on it is related to an ability to make it disappear only through the need to walk on it from your inability to disappear the water.

    Eric Hines

  14. I feel your pain, Judge. The shower would not shut off this morning. Luckily, one of my former clients was a plumber who taught me a modicum of plumbery and I was only 20 minutes late to work. Merry Christmas!

  15. The likelihood that I shall ever be one of you is slim, indeed. I am not even allowed to peruse the robes at J.C. Penney’s.

  16. I guess this debunks the answer to the question: How many Article III judges does it take to change a lightbulb. Usual answer: One, he holds the light bulb up and the world will revolve around him. Alternate answer: None. The magistrate judge will do it for her.

  17. Dear Bob,

    Please send me your full address. I have an ethical obligation to turn you in to the Article III police. By the way, telling the truth is punishable by death.

    All the best.


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