Perhaps it was a dark and stormy night when Scott W. Stucky was sworn in as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. It took place on a rain-slicked pier outside an abandoned warehouse. He wore a trenchcoat and a fedora with its brim turned down. A mysterious woman looked on, dressed all in black. The man who presided stood in a shadow, a diamond ear-stud reflecting a distant light.
Or perhaps not. But as Michael Doyle observes at the blog Suits & Sentences, Stucky is the latest federal judge to write an opinion in the hard-boiled noir style epitomized by authors such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. "There was something odd about the electric razor in the bathroom," the opinion begins. "[She] typically changed clothes in the bathroom and for the past year had felt that she was being watched, a feeling that she attributed to paranoia."
It is a style other judges have attempted, Doyle notes, with mixed results. The most notable judicial stab at noir came last year from Chief Justice John Roberts, in a dissent opposing a denial of writ of certiorari in Pennsylvania v. Dunlap. His dissent begins... [MORE]Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 17, 2009
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