In the Cambridge review system, HLS students are represented by one arrogant and all-important panel: a pretentious Chief Justice and two associate justices who are vying for her job.
IN RE THREE ACES, 117 REC. 11 (2003)
This may be one of the most controversial and contentious decisions the Court has decided so far. Protests erupted outside of The Record office following this decision as both sides geared up for a long and bitter fight over whether Three Aces served meals within the meaning of In Re Boca Grande.
Justice TORRES announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion of the Court in which Justice DICK joined concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I. “I sometimes like to grab a cheap meal when I am in a hurry. It is convenient and I don’t have to worry about cooking and wearing myself out. It is sad that I have to hide this part of my life from others, but there are people who are waiting for the chance to pounce on me and call me a fraud while tearing off my cashmere sweater. This is why I cry every night,” the illustrious Chief Justice noted in one of her not-to-be-published autobiographies, “Pride and Prejudicial Pride: Keeping My Life in Balance for the Sake of Others.”
II. The facts of this case are not in dispute. Three Aces is located on Massachusetts Avenue and is a favorite hangout spot for many law students. While the two associate justices were strolling along on their way to Boca Grande they noticed the Chief Justice inside Three Aces ferociously eating a chicken salad and gulping down a Diet Snapple. Aware that seeing us would bring her undue harm, the associate justices entered the establishment and accused the Chief Justice of being fraudulently pretentious. The Chief Justice denied the charge and proclaimed loudly (much to the displeasure of everyone around who had to hear her shrill voice), “We’ll decide this issue in court.” And so we will.
III. The question before this Court is whether Three Aces, a restaurant that openly serves food, is worthy of a student’s limited time and money.
IV. We hold that that In Re Boca Grande (117 Rec. 6, 2003) should be controlling in this case. The standard that emerged from that decision is “a meal is a meal when I know it is a meal.” Id. The Court holds today that what Three Aces puts forth as meals are really bad attempts at replicating cafeteria food from the poorest Appalachian town in southern Ohio. The Court finds under the Boca Grande standard that what Three Aces serves are not meals.
V. But that does not end our inquiry. A finding that a particular restaurant does not serve meals according to the Court’s reasoning subjects that restaurant to strict scrutiny. In other words, Three Aces is considered a suspect class, meaning the restaurant will only receive a favorable judgment from this Court if the restaurant serves a compelling student interest and is narrowly tailored to that student interest. First, it is indisputable that students who are not watching their weight must eat, and that the Law School’s exorbitant tuition means that some students will not be able to afford to spend very much on a meal. It is clear that Three Aces serves this student need by its convenient location to the Law School and its cheap prices for its meals. The first part of strict scrutiny is met in this case.
VI. But it is clear that Three Aces is not narrowly tailored to serve that student interest. First, it has a big sign that advertises its location to everyone that walks by. It seems clear that students who must eat cheaply and who do not want to walk far to do so will find a restaurant like Three Aces without a big sign. Second, Three Aces puts itself out there as a place to hang out by having tables and chairs for people to sit and Ms. Pac Man for people to play while they are waiting on their food. These both seem too broad to serve the interest of feeding cheap students. No tables and no recreation would ensure that students order their food and flee the establishment with their to-go bags so they can eat anywhere else.
VII. While his shallowness shines forth as usual, Justice Dick makes a good point in his novel “A Tale of Two Restaurants” when Sara Felts says of her mother’s dual life between cheap and expensive food, “It is better that you are seen walking down the street with that brown bag in your hand, dripping with grease than if you are seen eating the food in the restaurant itself. The former you will only be cursed at and spit on while the latter is worthy of death. I would be the first to accuse you if I ever saw you in such an establishment.” We impart this advice to students next time they want to sit down and eat their food at Three Aces.
VIII. Finally, Three Aces invites students to sit down or hang around by having two televisions tuned in to news or sports, the bread and butter of most law students. It is obvious that Three Aces is hoping for more than take-out orders by these additions. Thus Three Aces fails the second part of strict scrutiny.
IX. The Court finds that Three Aces is not worthy of a student’s limited time and money.
It is so ordered.
Justice DICK concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I. I agree with the judgment reached by the Court and the rationale used to justify the decision. I do take issue with several points, however. First, Ms. Pac Man is one of the good things about Three Aces. It allows students a glimpse into their past when playing Atari substituted for having friends. That said, I agree that students must not be caught playing Ms. Pac Man in Three Aces – I only wanted to clarify that it was a good game. Second, the Court’s flippant statement in Part VII that my shallowness shines through in “A Tale of Two Restaurants” is simply mean. It is evident an unnamed associate justice still has bad feelings over In Re Urban Outfitters and is still bent on ending my so-called shallowness crusade.
Chief Justice PETTINATO dissenting.
I. As I first noted in my unfinished epic, “War and Peas,” “Every good restaurant is alike. Every bad restaurant is bad in its own way.” Today the majority asks us to choose formality over functionalism in our interpretation of In Re: Boca Grande and lump Three Aces into some rigidly defined “bad restaurant” category of its own elitist finding. Because we live in a democracy where it is my role as Chief Justice to interpret if the people have decided whether or not a bad restaurant is bad, I vigorously dissent.
II. It is emphatically the province of the Chief Justice to say what the law is, and when said Chief Justice is entrusted with such ample powers she must also be entrusted with ample means for their execution. By this I mean that my fellow justices usurp democracy when they disagree with me about what the people think. As a long dead and forgotten Justice named Something Wendell Something-or-Other once said, “The word ‘liberty’ in the 14th Amendment is perverted when it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion.” If Justice Something-or-Other were on this court today, he would no doubt agree with me that it is only natural that the dominant opinion at the Law School be that Three Aces is worthy of a student’s limited time and money and that in disagreeing with me, the justices in the majority show themselves to be perverts.
III. Because it is obvious that many HLS students partake of the fine cuisine offered at Three Aces, I think the conclusion that they have voted with their pocketbooks on this matter is only rational. This means that the court is required to use a mere rationality test when evaluating Three Aces, not the ridiculous “strict scrutiny” standard that my fellow “justices” (if they can indeed even continue to be called by that name after this obvious showing of injustice) appear to have invented out of thin air. Three Aces provides cheap food, it’s nearby, and the guy who makes the onion rings knows my name. Could anything be more rational than the fact that I choose to eat there all three meals a day while
pouring out my problems and trying to score a date with the cook who continues to play hard to get by avoiding eye contact, asking me to leave, and taking out a restraining order on me? I think not.
IV. For the foregoing reasons, I dissent from the majority opinion and declare Three Aces not only worthy of a student’s limited time and money but of that student’s respect and admiration as well. It is so ordered. Or, rather, in a rational world it would be.