I am gazing into my slightly cracked crystal ball. Other, wiser souls recently offered insightful and serious forecasts in this publication about the paths on which the law may tread in 2014. Pish-posh. I prefer to amble about the lesser plane of wisecracks, sardonic quips and (tongue-in-cheek) wishful thinking. Just remember, folks, you read it here first™!
• In 2014, Justice Antonin Scalia will shock the world by singing the lead in “Pagliacci” at the Met – in a performance the New York Times will pan as “activist.” Not to be outdone, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first member of the Supreme Court to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker.
• In 2014, at least one state will declare opposite-sex marriage illegal because “high divorce rates among heterosexual couples tear at the social fabric of our country.”
• In 2014, lawyers will continue to overuse adverbs and underuse logic.
• In 2014, Colorado will realize that it was futile to legalize the recreational use of marijuana without also legalizing the sale of Doritos in 10-gallon bags.
• In 2014, television fans will file a class action lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional distress based on the untimely, and sometimes implausible, deaths of main characters. Congress will respond by passing the Brody-Crawley-Schrader Resurrection and Viewer Protection Act, which will require networks, if a majority of a show’s audience requests it, to bring deceased characters back as ghostly blue figures like Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Empire Strikes Back.”
• In 2014, Papa John’s, Amazon.com and the NSA will start a joint venture to drone-deliver pizza to anyone whose emails, texts, Facebook status or Twitter feed contains any of the following words: “hunger,” “hungry,” “starving,” “ravenous,” “Bill Clinton,” or “Colorado resident”.
• In 2014, a major Connecticut law firm will defy the recent merger frenzy and dissolve into a loosely-affiliated group of anarcho-syndicalist attorney communes. The so-called “Constitutional Peasant” model will revolutionize the legal industry . . . until a copyright infringement suit by John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin.
• In 2014, the legislative history for a bill passed by our General Assembly will include either the word “Dickensian,” or the word “fluffernutter.” But not both because I’m pretty sure that dear old Mr. Dickens was a PB&J man.
• In 2014, I will not write a column that contains a joke as god-awful unfunny as the previous prediction.
• In 2014, Puerto Rico will secede … from the First Circuit. (Seriously, though, does anyone on the Senate Judiciary Committee own a map??)
• In 2014, at least one major American law school will switch to an optional third-year format. Not to be outdone, Harvard and Yale will add a mandatory fourth year that will consist entirely of studying the Blue Book and cite-checking Law Review articles.
• In 2014, Judges Richard Posner, Alex Kosinski and J. Michael Luttig will form a rhythm & blues band called The Circuit Riders that will tour the country to rave reviews – but they’ll be booed offstage at a benefit concert in Berkley, Cal.
• In 2014, the elevators in the New Haven and Bridgeport courthouses will run smoothly and efficiently. (As I said, some of these are simply wishful thinking.)
• In 2014, the Judicial Branch will approve a pilot program of limited-scope appellate representation – and I will make a fortune writing reply briefs and handling the rebuttal portion of oral arguments.
• In 2014, the Judiciary Committee will reject the Frutarian Society of America’s proposal for a Plant Bill of Rights. Among the enumerated provisions: equal sunlight for leafy and non-leafy species, new potting soil every six months and cat protection nets for ferns.
• In 2014, after a stunning sweep of the mid-term elections, the Republican majority in the Senate will retroactively reject all of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees and will create a Select Committee to investigate the link between Kenyan birth and climate change.
• In 2014, we will leave the world a better place than we found it. (Let’s hope that one isn’t just wishful thinking. Happy New Year, everyone!)