Judge uses football in opinion

September 17, 2009
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You know it’s football season when a judge references two National Football League teams in his opinion.

Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals must love football, or think that the sport is something most people understand because he mentioned the Packers and Colts today in an opinion dealing with a complicated financial deal between an energy co-op, life insurer, and a company that deals in credit-default swaps. Too bad he didn’t throw in the Chicago Bears for good measure, since they also are in the 7th Circuit.

Example 1: “’Economic purpose’ is not a requirement for the enforceability of contracts. If the Green Bay Packers cut a player one day and then re-sign him the next, a court would not dream of canceling the new contract on the ground that a release-and-resign sequence lacks economic purpose.”

Example 2: “Suppose that Hoosier Energy had an in-the-money option to purchase the Indianapolis Colts by the end of December 2008, and that as a result of the reduced availability of credit it was unable to find a lender to finance the transaction.”

As a non-attorney, I appreciate it when judges attempt to help readers understand the legal issues by using examples I can relate to, such as sports. If this opinion came out in the spring, I wonder if he instead would have used references to Major League Baseball or National Basketball Association. Maybe he’s just got football on his mind.
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  • Judge Easterbrook\'s brother Gregg Easterbrook writes a well known column Tuesday Morning Quarterback for ESPN which cover the NFL. It must run in the family.

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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