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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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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