A Farewell to Pants

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In the least surprising development of the week, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has affirmed the order dismissing the case of Pants Judge v. District of Columbia, meaning that Roy L. Pearson, Jr., has lost again.

This case was basically the follow-up to Pearson's embarrassing $65-million lost-pants lawsuit against his dry cleaner, which I have mentioned as many times as I possibly could and am now mentioning again for what sadly may very well be the last time (although I wouldn't count on it).  For a short history of that saga and my coverage of it, see "Judge Who Lost Pants Forced to Rely on Briefs," Lowering the Bar (May 10, 2010).  As the title of that post indicates, the D.C. Circuit said earlier this month that it did not need to hear oral argument in the matter, because it already had all the information it needed to decide the case, thank you very much, no, seriously, if you show up the doors will be locked and we will wait quietly with the lights off until you go away.  That is generally a bad sign for the appellant, and so it proved here.

In a two-page decision, the court rejected Pearson's First Amendment and due process arguments.  Primarily, he was arguing that the failure to reappoint him to a judgeship was unconstitutional retaliation for his exercise of First Amendment rights by "whistleblowing" about conditions at work and pursuing an embarrassing $65-million lost-pants lawsuit against his dry cleaner (no, I am counting this entire post as a single "mention" of that lawsuit).  As to the latter, the court simply said: "Nor was Pearson's lawsuit against his dry cleaner protected speech. That suit did not involve a matter of public concern; as the district court stated, it is more properly 'characterized as a personal vendetta against a dry cleaners over a pair of pants.'"  Affirmed.

If I remember correctly, Roy has previously stopped short of petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court, and so this may, indeed, be the last time we hear of him.

But I wouldn't count on it.

Link: The Blog of Legal Times