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From the Footnotes

I don’t blog much about the law, but this footnote from a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals case kind of cracked me up. The case revolved around the issue of whether a police officer could use a citizen’s obscene gesture as grounds to search the citizen:

‘An irate automobile passenger’s act of giving the finger, a gesture of insult known for centuries, to a policeman has led to a seizure of two persons ordered to return to an automobile, an arrest for disorderly conduct, a civil rights suit, and now this appeal.’ See Bad Frog Brewery, Inc. v. New York State Liquor Authority, 134 F.3d 87, 91 n.1 (2d Cir. 1998) (reporting the use of the gesture by Diogenes to insult Demosthenes). Even earlier, Strepsiades was portrayed by Aristophanes as extending the middle finger to insult Aristotle. See Aristophanes, The Clouds (W. Arrowsmith, trans., Running Press (1962)). Possibly the first recorded use of the gesture in the United States occurred in 1886 when a joint baseball team photograph of the Boston Beaneaters and the New York Giants showed a Boston pitcher giving the finger to the Giants. See Ira P. Robbins, Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law, 41 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1403, 1415 (2008).

Just a Smidgeon Homophobic

Wow, Cameroon has a lot of confidence in its gaydar: “Cameroon court frees 2 men jailed for ‘looking gay’ and ordering Bailey’s Irish Cream.” Then again, it’s not like anyone needed a finely-tuned gaydar on this one: “They were arrested because they were seen wearing women’s clothes and because of the nature of their make-up, and only suspected to be homosexuals, which is against Cameroon law.”

Good Late Night

“Do you know what BCS stands for? ‘Beating Catholics Soundly.’ . . . Let me tell you how bad it was. Today the Pope suggested that Notre Dame might want to be a Lutheran college.” Leno

“Remember when Kim Kardashian was married to basketball player Chris Humphreys? Turns out they’re not legally divorced. This could get in the way and possibly hold up Kim’s divorce from Kanye West when they eventually get married.” Letterman

“I started listening to Bowie back in the 1970s. A big part of his mystique back then was his sexuality. He was ambiguous. Bowie made androgyny cool. In the decade before Bowie, music was dominated by macho, manly men. Like Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and Liberace. . . . Bowie’s been married to Iman, the model, now for 20 years. Marrying a model is a great idea because you save a fortune on food.” Ferguson