When someone asks if I did the reading for class
By David Ingram
(Reuters) - This is the story of an endangered goat, U.S. law and a Washington judge with a love of words.
On Tuesday, Judge Merrick Garland issued a legal opinion in the case of the straight-horned markhor (pronounced mahr-kawr).
The markhor, he wrote, is “an impressive subspecies of wild goat that inhabits an arid, mountainous region of Pakistan.”
Some conservationists and hunters in the United States had sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seeking to downlist the
markhor from endangered to merely threatened - now that it is near record numbers. They also asked to be allowed to import
killed markhor goats as trophies. Their lawsuit alleged that the failure of the Fish and Wildlife Service to take several actions was “arbitrary and capricious” - a familiar phrase in American administrative law.
Garland, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, wrote that it would be tempting to “consider an arbitrary and capricious claim in a case involving a goat.”
Why tempting? The judge’s footnote said it all:
"See Oxford English Dictionary 2:868-69 (2d ed. 1989) (tracing the origins of the word "capricious" to the musical term "capriccioso," which denotes "a free fantastic style," and which in turn is derived from the Italian "capro," meaning "goat, as … (in) ‘the skip or frisk of a goat’”).”
Garland’s opinion for a unanimous three-judge panel ordered that the requests by the conservationists and hunters be dismissed as not ripe, lacking standing and moot.
Anti-Inspirations for depressing public service work.