Judge is a fan of Johnny Carson

November 16, 2011
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I am about to show my age: I had to do a Google search to find out who Carnac is.

In an opinion handed down Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, Judge Michael Barnes concurred with a brief separate opinion in a case involving an inverse condemnation claim.

“I write to concur in full and to acknowledge the precedent our supreme court articulated in State v. Kimco of Evansville, Inc., 902 N.E.2d 206 (Ind. 2009). As the author of the Court of Appeals decision reversed by that opinion, one does not have to be Carnac to realize I disagree. However, our supreme court has spoken, and I concur,” wrote Barnes.

I thought “Who or what is Carnac?” I figured it had to be something well known enough for it to stand alone in the opinion, but it wasn’t ringing a bell with me. Thankfully, Google told me that it’s Carnac the Magnificent, a character Johnny Carson would play on his TV show (unless Barnes was referring to Carnac stones, but I bet they don’t psychically determine answers from sealed envelopes).

Once I learned it was a reference to the Tonight Show skit, I realized that I did know who Carnac is, I just didn’t know his name. In my defense, the show went off the air before I was allowed to stay up that late.

I like seeing judges interject a bit of their personality into their writings – it breaks up the monotony of the legal language and gives you a glimpse of who they possibly are off the bench. I deduced two things from Barnes’ writing – he watched (or at least is familiar enough with) the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and he has a sense of humor in showing how he feels about the Supreme Court’s reversal of his decision.
 

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