A more poetic Short Circuit this week. Coinciding with his birthday, January 25th, and with the phenomenon that it is these days, we pay homage to Scotland’s greatest poet, Robert Burns. What does this 18th century minstrel of haggis, lassies, and auld lang syne have to do with judicial engagement and the circuit courts of appeals? Well, if nothing else free spirited inquiry and the good cheer we try and support on the show. You’ll first hear what Burns might have thought of qualified immunity. Then Brian Morris of IJ joins us for his own reading of some bits of real Burns poems and then whisks us off to the Fifth Circuit where Texas tried to force publishers to rate their books. This attempt at compelled speech receives a heavy dose of judicial engagement, maybe one that would bring a smile to Burn’s face. Then it’s up to the Seventh Circuit where a lawyer just didn’t understand when to go home after his client had settled the case. And after the lawyer had been kicked out of the case for misbehavior. We finally end with the most cited poem of Burns in American judicial opinions. It’s one some listeners will recognize. All-in-all, we hope this episode is one of our best-laid schemes.

Click here for transcript.

Book People v. Wong

Bailey v. Worthington Cylinder Corp.

Jackson Coca-Cola Bottling v. Chapman

Burns Supper Guide

To a Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With the Plough

A Man’s a Man for a’ That

Green Grow the Rashes

Burns BBC Documentary

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