The Verdict


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 MONTROSE SPA, 118 REC. 6 (2004)

JUSTICE TORRES announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion of the Court which CHIEF JUSTICE PETTINATO joined.

I. “A meal defines who we are, what we stand for, how we look, and what we can use to overcome the greasy grip of depression,” Chief Justice Pettinato writes in her 2000-page study of restaurants in Cambridge, “Not So Great Expectations: A Comprehensive Study of Those Restaurants Located Between Harvard Law School and North Hall on Massachusetts Avenue.”

II. The facts of this case are not in dispute. Montrose Spa is located on Massachusetts Avenue and is a favorite stop for students who want a quick sandwich. On a crisp March day, the justices were enjoying lunch at an undisclosed location when Chief Justice Pettinato was offended by a casual remark by Justice Dick that she should consider giving up food for Lent-and maybe for a couple of months thereafter. The Chief Justice grabbed her four-course meal, ran away crying and, after finishing that meal and robbing a homeless man, sought some quick comfort food at Montrose Spa. The meat of her sandwich provides the substance for this decision.

III. The question before this Court is whether Montrose Spa, a grocery store that openly sells sandwiches as if it was a restaurant, is worth going to.

IV. Our first inquiry must be whether Montrose Spa serves and sells meals. Based upon firsthand research by the Chief Justice, which she has since published (See “The Price of Bad Sandwiches: The Guy Behind the Counter, Montrose Spa, and the Education of Tammy Pettinato”) the Court finds that Montrose Spa does not serve meals.

V. Having found as much, the Court now must inquire whether the sandwiches at Montrose Spa serve important student objectives and are substantially related to the achievement of those objectives. It is true students are limited in their time and money, and Montrose Spa certainly advertises itself as a place where one can grab a quick sandwich for about five dollars, but that hardly satisfies the standard. A student’s objective should be more than a quick meal for a few dollars; such an objective is much too commoner-like to satisfy this Court. As the Chief Justice recently screamed out during someone else’s graduation speech at Yale, “Eating like poor people makes one look poor-and that is such a clich in today’s America where everyone acts poor in order to bitch about the government.” A student’s objective should be to eat food that is more than some meat between two slices of bread-students should not be sandwiched between hunger pains and only the choice of ham-and-cheese or salami.

VI. Having defined what a student’s objective should be in seeking out a meal, the Court holds that Montrose Spa could never achieve that objective. Not only are the choices limited, but also there is not even a place to sit down within the establishment. For these and other reasons that are too difficult to articulate, much less to write when I have a new Playstation 2 game to play, I hold that Montrose Spa fails the Court’s test.

VII. The Court finds that Montrose Spa is not worthy of a student’s limited time and money.

It is so ordered.

JUSTICE DICK, concurring in the judgment only.

I. I concur in the result reached by the Court, but write separately because the Court has, without explanation, disregarded the standard announced in In Re Boca Grande, 117 Rec. 6 (2003), that a meal is “a meal when I know it is a meal.” After announcing that Montrose Spa does not serve meals, the Court subjects the grocery store to intermediate scrutiny, despite the plain language of our earlier opinions that a store or restaurant that is found not to serve meals is subject to strict scrutiny. See In Re Three Aces.

II. Students have built their lives around the standard announced by the Court in In Re Boca Grande and reaffirmed by In Re Three Aces. The Court has ignored the right of students to know what a meal is by looking to my advice, and instead adopted a more lenient test for meals that may not safeguard students from the horrors of bad taste or the carbohydrates of French fries. The Court has carjacked my standard and taken it for a reckless ride on the curvy back roads of this Court’s jurisprudence. I fear that in place of my clear meal principle will be a totalitarian standard that offers no guidance and is constantly changing, much like the name of the Chief Justice’s supposed boyfriend. Students deserve more than a standard that is comparable to the Chief Justice’s dating life.

III. Students are safe, for now, since the Court correctly found that Montrose Spa is not a meal and cannot survive scrutiny, despite the more lenient scrutiny adopted by the Court. For today, at least, the law of meals stands undisturbed. But the signs are evident and very ominous, and a chill wind blows.

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