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Latin’s not dead … it’s just resting

A federal circuit court opinion about whether a joint with a liquor license can let its topless dancers dance fully nude is probably the last place you’d expect to find judges debating the health, or lack thereof, of Latin.

Latin – the noble language of the Romans – recently has enjoyed a bit of a comeback in schools, if you believe the education articles in the popular press.

Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr. doesn’t buy it. He wrote the opinion in the Aug. 30 case handed down by the 6th Circuit, Hamilton’s Bogarts Inc. v. State of Michigan. In the case, the court reversed a district judge, and granted an injunction to the adult bar and topless dancer who were the plaintiffs.

But there was some confusion about whether the state of Michigan was arguing res judicata or collateral estoppel. Martin said that the court would treat the argument as one of collateral estoppel since, he wrote in a footnote, “Latin is a dead language anyway.”

Judge Alice M.Batchelder concurred, noting, “I write separately only to express my suspicion that, like the reports of Mark Twain’s death … the report of the death of Latin in the majority opinion’s footnote 5 is greatly exaggerated.”

Which is nice way of saying, “Et tu, Boyce?”

Thanks to Baker McClanahan for the tip.

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