Tag: law

Memo to 20-year old me…

I probably wouldn’t have listened to a 40-something dude who looked like me, but every once in a while I think about the kind of advice I would give to younger Tim. Periodically I’ll share those here.

Topic 91: Your plans will change

Your current plans of law school and environmental litigation… awesome. You’ll do that. But don’t figure you’ll keep wanting to do that. This week (my time) you’ll be hosting a yoga retreat at your West Virginia cabin.* And you’ll be happy about that, because things change and plans change. Remember when you thought you wanted to double major in biology and political science? Yeah just like that…

*Yes: yoga retreat. No, you’re not a yoga teacher. And yes, cabin in WV. You sort of live there, but it’s more nuanced than that. I know, I know… deep breaths 20 year old me… deep breaths.

Origin Tale: why uncommonly silly?

All good superhero comics have origin tales… radioactive spider bite survivors, refugees from long exploded planets…  dudes who talk to fish and that’s their only power

So too, all blogs (do we still call these blogs?) have origins. My favorite Supreme Court case* is Griswold v. Connecticut. It’s a seminal privacy law case that was the predecesor to Roe v. Wade. Ever hear of that one?

The crux of the case was a law that banned contraception for everyone, even married couples. Yes… married couples. The Court… and I’ll use the technical term here… smacked this law down. The ruling wasn’t unanimous, oddly enough. Some Justices thought the law wasn’t strike-downable (now an actual word). Another, Justice Potter Stewart, thought the law was inane, but nevertheless constitutional. But the best part was how he got there. Justice Stewart began his dissent with one of the all time great dismissive lines ever to grace the Supreme Court:

This is an uncommonly silly law.

So elegant. So perfectly dismissive of a perfectly stupid (and uncommonly silly) law. I love the majority ruling on principle, but this sentence remains a favorite of mine, despite its presence in the dissent with which I disagree.

So… I honor the smack talk of a lesser-known Justice by titling my blog after his words. An homage if you will.


*{cough cough} nerd!