Marching With the McNeely Gang: Intermission

Posted On September 19, 2013 by Daniel Koewler

Being a judge is a daunting task; donning their robes and wielding their gavels, every day in the life of a judge involves making difficult decisions. Sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes intellectually exhausting, but always weighty, these daily decisions by the judiciary are one of the crucial cornerstones of our democracy - a government of laws, not of men.

Such a heavy responsibility leaves little room for levity, or humor; phrases like "sober as a judge" exist for a reason. But sometimes a judge will issue a decision that strikes a perfect balance between seriousness and smiles. And so you'll see the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court try his hand at paying homage to a dime store detective novel in one of his decisions. Or read the dissent of different Supreme Court Justice, who solemnly describes the "awesome responsibility" of the Supreme Court of the United States "laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government's power '[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,' . . . . to decide . . . . What Is Golf."

Yesterday, we were forwarded an order from a judge here in Minnesota that manages to strike that perfect balance between levity and wit (and perhaps underscores just how up-in-the-air DWI law has become since the McNeely decision). Trust me, you want to read this order, specifically, the memorandum of law. It does a great job of summing up exactly how we got to where we are today with respect to warrantless DWI searches . . . and does so by harkening back to the wild, wild west.

Any more summary wouldn't do the order justice, so just click the link and read it here.