Do not open ’til April Fool’s Day

March 30, 2012

April Fools(Editor’s note: In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, Westlaw Insider presents these short satire news stories.  They are intended to be humorous and not to be taken as reports on reality in any sense.)

Libertarian governor proposes abolishing state’s criminal code

In a move of interest to legal scholars and people who don’t like to get robbed, the libertarian governor of the state of Jefferson proposed on Monday to abolish the state’s criminal code.  “Really, this just makes the most sense” said Governor Bob Freeman.  “If corporations can be trusted to do the right thing without any government interference, surely individuals, who are actually motivated by more than a desire for profit, can be trusted on the same grounds.  The free market will work everything out.”  Shortly thereafter, Freeman reportedly contracted for the services of a private security force.

Disney attributes poor performance of “John Carter” to online piracy

After announcing that it estimated to lose $200 million on its sci-fi film John Carter, Disney attributed this anticipated loss to the effects of online piracy.  According to the statement issued by Disney, the massive financial loss of the film, which reportedly cost more than $350 million to produce and market, was not attributable to poor marketing, lukewarm reviews from critics, or a lack of moviegoer interest, but instead to the widespread, illegal distribution of leaked copies of the film online.  Citing this loss, Disney has renewed calls for tougher copyright legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, both of which were defeated earlier this year.   John Carter is the latest in a series of films that have fallen victim of online piracy, others of which include 2000’s Battlefield Earth, 2002’s The Adventures of Pluto Nash, 2011’s Mars Needs Moms.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ends vow of silence, tries out vow of poverty

Clarence Thomas potato sackOn Thursday, Justice Clarence Thomas announced that he is finished with his vow of silence during oral arguments, and that he would instead begin a vow of poverty.   Justice Thomas’s vow of silence began over six years ago, with the last time he had spoken during oral arguments being at Holmes v. South Carolina’s on February 22, 2006.  “It was fun for awhile, but now I’m ready to try another vow” said Thomas.  “I think the vow of poverty is the next logical choice.”  When asked what exactly this will mean for the Justice during oral arguments, Thomas responded, “I don’t know, I guess I’ll probably find a used bean bag chair or something to sit on instead of one of those fancy chairs they have now.  I can also use some of this cardboard I found out back in the recycling bin to take notes on, too.  In any case, it’s sure to spice things up a bit, right?”  When asked if he had his next vow in mind already, Thomas replied that he wasn’t sure, but it would probably be a vow of obedience to Justice Scalia.

Congress sets aside differences, tries to get things done

In an unexpected move Wednesday, all of the members of both houses of U.S. Congress decided to stop the partisan bickering, ignore the demands of special interests, and really try to make a positive difference in the lives of the constituents that they purportedly serve.  “It’s the weirdest thing” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “This morning, everyone in Congress on both sides of the aisle just woke up and felt this overwhelming desire to work together to solve the nation’s problems in a rational manner,Bohner and Pelosi so happy together without the influence of any ideologies.”  Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “We realized that we were all doing a grave disservice to the American people and besmirching the name of U.S. Congress with our cozy relationships with lobbyists and constant stonewalling.  It’s about time things changed.”  Under this new spirit of cooperation, Congress is expected to offer viable solutions to the problems of the nation’s chronic unemployment, the skyrocketing costs of health care and higher education, and the foreclosure crisis, and, in addition, formulate a generously protective privacy bill of rights.  And it will accomplish all of this before it reaches its summer recess.