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1 Jer. 1: In re Brennan’s

2012 September 26
by JEREMY, C.J.

*Reporter’s Note: This decision was not selected for inclusion in the official reporter of the Supreme Cart. What follows is the desperate attempt of  a judicial activist to willfully misinterpret the plain meaning of our laws in order to satisfy his appetite for three-course breakfasts. Its legitimacy is not merely questioned; it is explicitly rejected. 

Opinion of JEREMY, C.J., in chambers.

Some months ago, I attended a judicial conference in New Orleans. While there, I had the privilege of eating at that grande dame of high Creole cuisine—Brennan’s—which I can only imagine takes its name from the late, great William J. Brennan, Jr., who so boldly and bravely sought to expand the concept of personal jurisdiction. With my sister and the Reporter of this Cart so mysteriously absent from our chambers this day, I take this opportunity to issue and publish a decision in the case of Brennan’s. I affirm.

I. JURISDICTION

Though the issue is clearly resolved in my mind, I will first take the time to silence those small-minded naysayers who may question whether Brennan’s falls within the jurisdiction of this Cart. Under Section 2 of the Judiciary Act of 2011 (Cartiorari Act), this Cart “shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all food carts, trucks, and other transitory alimentary establishments within those portions of the District of Columbia or the part thereof retroceded to the Commonwealth of Virginia by Act of [the] Congress assembled in the year of our Lord 1847.” It is from this statement that we take our own Rule of Procedure 1-2, which provides that “[t]he jurisdiction of the Cart shall extend to all mobile gastronomic enterprises situated throughout those parts of (a) the County of Arlington, Virginia, (b) the District of Columbia, and (c) the City of Alexandria, Virginia, which are reasonably proximate to public transportation of a reasonably rapid and efficient character.” See In re China Garden, 5 Catt. 1 (2012). Brennan’s clearly falls within our jurisdiction.

Southern Baked Apple with Cream

The jurisdictional test contains three elements. First, the establishment under a consideration must be a “mobile gastronomic enterprise[].” Second, it must be located in Arlington, Alexandria, or the District of Columbia. Third, it must be “reasonably proximate to public transportation of a reasonably rapid and efficient character.” I consider each in turn.

A. “Mobile Gastronomic Enterprise”

First, Brennan’s is, of course, a “gastronomic enterprise” as it as a business purveying Creole culinary creations. But it also a “mobile” gastronomic enterprise. Brennan’s lies on the North American plate, and, as every schoolboy knows, the tectonic plates are in constant flux, moving atop the asthenosphere like blobs of wax in a lava lamp. Even if we accept that Brennan’s is a discrete point upon the solid Earth, the solid Earth revolves around its axis, such that, at any given moment, any discrete terrestrial point occupies a different location in the Universe than it did the moment before. Furthermore, the Earth revolves around the Sun, further multiplying the infinity of locations in the Universe which Brennan’s has occupied since opening in 1946.

B. Located in Arlington, Alexandria, or the District of Columbia

Second, Brennan’s must be located in Arlington, Alexandria, or the District of Columbia. Because the Earth and its tectonic plates are in constant flux throughout the Universe, it is more likely than not that Brennan’s has occupied or will someday occupy a place in the Universe which was once or will someday be somewhere within the combined boundaries of Arlington, Alexandria, and the District of Columbia. In fact, this proposition is easily provable. It is generally accepted that, “[t]hrough the calculations begun by Edwin P. Hubble on the galaxies’ velocity of recession, we can establish the moment when all the universe’s matter was concentrated in a single point, before it began to expand in space.” Italo Calvino, “All at One Point,” COSMICOMICS at 43 (1965). In fact, Federal Rule of Evidence 803(16) allows to admit into the record the recollection of one “old Qfwfq,” who  Calvino notes as having recounted: “Naturally we were all there, . . . where else could we have been? . . . Every point of each us coincided with every point of each of the others in a single point, which was where we all were.” Id. Therefore, there is more than a mere scintilla of evidence in favor of the proposition that Brennan’s was, once, coextensive with all points and all matter now contained within the boundaries of our jurisdiction. Cf. Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971). That evidence is substantial enough for the purposes of establishing the jurisdiction of this Supreme Cart.

C. “Reasonably Proximate to Public Transportation of a Reasonably Rapid and Efficient Character”

Third, Brennan’s must be “reasonably proximate to public transportation of a reasonably rapid and efficient character.” The network of streetcars in New Orleans is operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (“RTA”). The RTA was established by the Louisiana State Legislature and is, to some degree, accountable to the body politic. The RTA is therefore “public” and the network of streetcars it controls “public transportation.” Brennan’s is located at 417 Royal Street, less than a mile from the Canal Street, Riverfront, and St. Charles Avenue Lines of the New Orleans streetcar network. Brennan’s is therefore “reasonably proximate” to public transportation. Whether that transportation is “of a reasonably rapid and efficient character” is, to be sure, subject to debate. But I would find that determination to a political question, best answered by other institutions, and therefore nonjusticiable. Cf. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962). The City of New Orleans and the RTA would likely deem the streetcar network to be “rapid” and “efficient,” and this Cart must accept that determination.

Eggs Hussarde

II. STREET FOOD

Our second inquiry is whether we are considering proper “street food,” i.e., food that “can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011). If Brennan’s offers “street food,” those offerings must be affirmed unless this Cart can prove otherwise. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012). At first blush, the food served at Brennan’s cannot be deemed “street food” as this Cart has defined that term. While that food can be cooked in the diner’s presence (see discussion of bananas Foster below), it is certainly not “meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” Brennan’s is the stuff of white tablecloths and fabric napkins.

But we have held that our Eat Wonky test is “not intended to affirmatively define the entire class of ‘street food’ . . . .” In re Hot People Food, 6 Catt. 4 (2012). The fact is, Brennan’s serves its food to its diners in a grand old building fronting on Royal Street. Only a pea-brained, reactionary strict constructionist could attempt to explain how “food” served alongside a “street” is not thereby “street food.” The presumption of affirmance must apply here. But even if it did not, I have no doubt I would still find in favor of Brennan’s.

Bananas Foster

III. GASTRONOMY

The petty and piddling matter of jurisdiction out of the way, we may safely progress to the substance of the matter: Brennan’s lavish breakfast. Lavish is an understatement as breakfast at Brennan’s is, in fact, a three-course affair. Luckily we justices are festooned with flowing black robes which graciously allow for an expanding corpulence and, given their color, provide an overall slimming effect. I opted for the following: (1) Southern baked apple with cream, (2) eggs Hussarde, and (3) bananas Foster, with a refreshing mimosa providing lubrication of mind and discourse throughout the repast. The Southern baked apple with cream was a thing of significant decadence. Sweet and luscious, it paved the way for the deep and profound savor of the eggs Hussarde (“A Brennan’s Original!”). Eggs Hussarde is essentially eggs Benedict with the addition of Marchand du Vin sauce—a rich and beefy Creole concoction. The final course was, naturally, Brennan’s most famous gift to gastronomy—Bananas Foster—complete with its dramatic table service.

That brings me to another point: service. Ordinarily, I am no stickler for service. In fact, as I have stated before, “I often find that the best restaurants are those with long waits and terrible service.” In re Hot People Food, 6 Catt. 4 (2012); see also In re Sol Mexican Grill, 9 Catt. 4 (2012); In re El Floridano, 2 Catt. 2 (2011). Sometimes, however, good service is worth noting. See Hot People Food, 6 Catt. 4; In re Doug the Food Dude, 5 Catt. 3 (2012). This is one such case. Brennan’s sustains the old restaurant traditions: white tablecloths, kindly wait staff in formalwear, intricate table service involving flaming liqueurs. All in all, Brennan’s conjures memories of a time when fine restaurants were as theatres.

 IV. CONCLUSION

An unusually judgmental person, I find myself unable find any fault with Brennan’s. My plates returned quite clean to the kitchen, and my soul was satisfied. I gave repeated thanks to the Graces for so kindly providing me with an opportunity to visit New Orleans and enjoy a breakfast at Brennan’s. For these reasons, the case of Brennan’s is

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

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