Friday, February 3, 2006

favorite language from cases--#1

First in a series celebrating the colorful language and writing choices of judges across the country and over time.  This is a long-time favorite of mine from South Dakota, distinctive due to its colorful and widely ranging references:

"Perhaps, like John the Baptist, I am a cry in the wilderness. Perhaps, also, like John the Baptist, my message rings true. From the day of the issuance of the Magna Carta, June 15, 1215 A.D., to the pioneer cry of 'Wagons West,' free men have longed to call a piece of land or chattel their very own. This longing, this spirit, this right, is of ancient tenure. It is deeply ingrained and embedded in the American way of life. When a government can take and/or destroy property--acquire title--and then advocate 'you have no appeal,' my blood begins to boil and my sense of justice stiffens against such absolute state authority. Therefore, I would hold, under the purview of SDCL 15-26A-3(4), that an appeal lies by right from a circuit court order affirming the necessity of the taking and permitting condemnation." 

South Dakota Dept. of Transp. v. Freeman, 378 N.W.2d 241, 247 (S.D.1985)(Henderson, J., dissenting).

(njs)

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