Monday, July 01, 2013

What was Chief Judge Roberts' favorite case of the Term?

B.  Voting Rights
C.  Affirmative Action
D.   DNA
E.  Fane Lozman's house boat case

Yup, you got it -- E.  The Chief Justice loved the case from the Southern District of Florida about whether the floating structure was a house or a boat.  From Forbes:

Turns out the Chief Justice felt the same way. In this interview on C-SPAN, John Roberts called the lawsuit over whether a floating house was a boat one of his favorites from the last term.It’s surprising to hear this, given the momentous cases that were also before the court: The Voting Rights Act, gay rights, affirmative action, human gene patents — nearly all of them had broader implications for society at large than Fane Lozman’s Quixotic battle with the authorities of a coastal city in Florida over whether they had the power to haul his home away.“There are going to be  half-dozen cases people are going to be talking about,” Roberts said in the interview with Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III.“The littler ones can be quite fascinating,” he said, however. “My favorite from last term was a case called Lozman."“The way cases develop in the law, you have something that seems to fit not comfortably on either category,” Roberts said. “Depending on which side you were on, it was either a floating home or a house boat.”In Lozman’s case, it was a seedy-looking house on a floating platform, connected to shore with a garden hose and an extension cord. Lozman had towed it hundreds of miles around the Florida peninsula, but the house didn’t have any power to move itself. City officials argued it was a boat for purposes of obtaining a maritime lien and impounding it. The court decided otherwise, in a decision with implications for much more significant structures like floating casinos.“We had a lot of fun with it …looking at the different characteristics and posing a lot of interesting hypotheticals at the argument,” Roberts said. At one point, the justices seemed to be toying with the lawyer for Riviera Beach, trying to back him into ridiculous definitions of a boat.Roberts asked if an inner tube qualified. After all, it could support a human and move him from place to place. Then Justice Stephen Breyer chimed in: “This cup. what about the cup?” Justice Sonia Sotomayorasked, “what about a garage door?” And Elena Kagan followed up with: Take the inner tube, and you know, paste a couple of pennies on the inner tube. Now it carries things.”
On a separate note, I haven't been watching the Bachelorette, but I'm told that local AUSA Michael Garofola has made the top 5....  And that he is very against other contestants cursing on the show.  


orlando corporate attorney said...

Cool article. Oh, and I am also rooting for Michael Garofola to win this season. He totally deserves to!

Anonymous said...

Michael G.!!!
(although on the last episode he should have said, "People v. James - case closed" instead of "case dismissed" -- do prosecutors dismiss a case after a conviction?)