Bench Memos

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Another One for the Common-Sense File


Senator Obama was worried that Judge Roberts might be so super-smart that he might lack something more important than brains: common sense. Senator, add this item to the growing “common sense” file on Judge Roberts.

From the New York Daily News:

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia released a decision in which John Roberts, now Supreme Court nominee, was the dissenting voice in a 2-1 ruling. Said ruling reversed a gun-possession conviction because police had, according to the court, overstepped their bounds in searching the trunk of the suspect’s car. To be more precise, the car the suspect was driving (with a suspended license).

The cops opened the trunk after a records check showed that the vehicle bore stolen temporary license tags. And, lo and behold, they found a .25-caliber pistol.

Showing more common sense than did his colleagues, Roberts wrote, “Stolen tags often accompany stolen cars.” He also wrote: “The best [the suspect] could do was tell the officers . . . that the car belonged to his girlfriend. Sometimes a car being driven by an unlicensed driver, with no registration and stolen tags, really does belong to the driver’s friend, and sometimes dogs do eat homework.”


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