Friday, February 23, 2007

Turning Now, Your Honor, To The Legal Definition of "Tard"

Hong Kong, China

U.S. appellate judge Richard A. Posner -- one of the few jurists who knows how to write well -- ruled this week on a case which introduces the phrase "tard" into the legal lexicon:

"Every year the eighth graders choose a class T-shirt. Among the designs submitted for the 2003 contest was plaintiff Michael Brandt’s; his mother is the plaintiffs’ lead counsel. Brandt was in the school’s program for gifted students. The program draws from all over Chicago. The other students in the school, the ones who are not in the gifted program, are local. There are some tensions between the 'gifties,' as the students in the gifted program call themselves, and the 'tards,' a derogatory term (short for 'retards') sometimes applied by gifties to the other students. The gravity of those tensions is not revealed by the record." Brandt v. Board of Education of City of Chicago, Case Nos. 06-1999 & 06-2573 (7th Cir. Feb. 20, 2007).

The opinion is peppered with sarcastic and deflating statements which make it clear that Judge Posner and his two colleagues believed that the case was a waste of their time. Even if you're not in the habit of reading court opinions, I recommend you spend ten minutes on this one, as a rare example of top-notch legal writing.


Anonymous Holly Gardner said...

Hey Paul! I read the opinion. Okay..... So this Brandt kid must be a child in a single parent (female) home. It's important (and they'll learn that in high school) to understand First Amendment rights. However, rudeness in school and in children is kinda gross. ("gifties t-shirts) But that kind of behavior tells me maybe that those children (since they're ganging up like that) are scared. Kinda sad. I guess schools aren't what they used to be. Thanks! See ya!

4:19 PM  

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