On Tuesday, Justice Jackson issued the bulk opinion in MOAC Mall Holdings LLC v. Rework Holdco LLC. The case issues a chapter problem on which I’ve no explicit experience. However this sentence jumped out at me:
Stripped of its baubles, Rework’s mootness argument is that MOAC’s final reduction hinges on the BankruptcyCourt’s potential to “reconstitut[e the leasehold] as property of the property.”
I am going to admit, I needed to google “baubles.” I do not assume I’ve ever seen that phrase. In case you’re curious, it refers to trinkets or decorations, like Christmas ornaments. Out of curiosity, I checked if that phrase has ever earlier than been utilized in a Supreme Court docket opinion. It has. And Justice Jackson is in superb firm.
Justice John Marshall Harlan I take advantage of that phrase in his Civil Rights Instances dissent from 1883:
However what was secured to coloured residents of the US—as between them and their respective States—by the grant to them of State citizenship? With what rights, privileges, or immunities did this grant from the nation make investments them? There may be one, if there be no others—exemption from race discrimination in respect of any civil proper belonging to residents of the white race in the identical State. That, absolutely, is their constitutional privilege when throughout the jurisdiction of different States. And such should be their constitutional proper, in their very own State, until the latest amendments be ‘splendid baubles,’ thrown out to delude those that deserved truthful and beneficiant remedy by the hands of the nation. Citizenship on this nation essentially imports equality of civil rights amongst residents of each race in the identical State. It’s elementary in American citizenship that, in respect of such rights, there shall be no discrimination by the State, or its officers, or by people, or companies exercising public capabilities or authority, towards any citizen due to his race or earlier situation of servitude.
I dug a bit additional, to see if anybody has ever used the phrase “stripped of its baubles.” I discovered one reference, in a December 2022 Boston Globe article, titled This is your annual record of farms with goats that can eat your Christmas tree:
Youngsters get presents. Goats get bushes. It is that point of yr once more, when your Christmas tree is stripped of its baubles and tinsel after which tossed within the trash–until, that’s, you wish to feed it to a farm animal as an alternative.
Did Justice Jackson decide up this turn-of-phrase from the Globe? She did spend a while from Harvard, and her husband’s household is from Boston. Much more urgent, do any of the Justices let goats eat their Christmas bushes. I had no thought this was a factor!