B. Craig Grafton
The inscrutable Judge Kangarito sat on the bench today. Today was landlord-tenant day. In other words it was the day that the tenants got kicked out of the apartment or the house that they were renting for lack of paying rent. Of course they all would have some standard excuse why they couldn't pay and why they shouldn't be kicked out. Like their landlord was a rotten awful person who never took care of the place and wouldn't fix the things that they told him needed fixing and therefore they didn't have to pay any rent until such time as all those things were fixed to their personal satisfaction. But this next case Judge Kangarito could see was not going to be a standard case because the defendant was the President and he claimed that he had a right to stay on in the White House and the plaintiff was the President Elect, or so he thought he was, who wanted in the White House now, since the President was technically a dead duck anyway and had no business wasting this country's precious time with stupid executive orders and pardons for criminals.
Ram Jacob Sheep represented the President. He was a headstrong and fearless attorney who had a reputation for butting heads with anybody and everybody. He never failed to get his point across, sometimes all six of them. Though this was a civil case and he was a friend of the President, his fee was being paid by the taxpayers.
Mr. President Elect was represented by a bevy of expensively suited attorneys, some of which were even minority oriented or women, and all of them had the word esq., esquire that is, after their name. That meant that they were honorable people. Mr. President Elect bore the cost this army but he could afford it since he was ten times richer than the President. Besides all of this was tax deductible anyway.
Judge Kangarito began. "Mr. Sheep you're claiming that what we have here is a tenancy at will when it comes to who may reside in the White House. Is that correct?"
"Yes, your honor. The occupant of the White House is there at the will of the people. That is why it's a tenancy at will. No rent is paid, whether monthly or yearly, no lease is signed, for any period of time, and therefore the occupant thereof is a tenant at will of the landlord and the landlord here is the people, or should I say the will of the people. And even a tenant at will is entitled to a written notice to vacate and none has been given here because it is the will of the people that he should stay."
"What say you, one of you attorneys for Mr. President Elect?" asked Judge Kangarito.
One of the minions rose. He was a giant of a man, a former NFL linebacker, who loved to tackle things head on. "Your Honor the people here have given written notice through the electoral college. The law has been complied with. The defense should be penalized for delay of game." He couldn't resist throwing some sports jargon into this. After all if he just went out there played his game, stuck to his game plan and did what he had to do, he could win this thing. But then he added, thinking to cover all bases, even though he was not a baseball player, "The President should be ordered to vacate with all deliberate speed." He used the phrase "with all deliberate speed" because he had read that once in a Supreme Court case somewhere and thought that it would impress Judge Kangarito if he threw in some legalese. He sauntered over to his chair, John Wayne style, gave a thumbs up to his client, and plopped down, a smirky smile upon his face.
"Mr. Sheep, your response."
"Your Honor the electoral college is not the will of the people. It's the will of the electoral college. They are two entirely different things. The will of the people is reflected in the polls and here the polls show that it is the will of the people that my client stay. They further reflect that my client could have beaten Mr. President Elect on a level playing field, if the deck hadn't been hacked and stacked against him by foreign foes, which is what happened here of course. Furthermore, they show him more popular than the president elect and also more popular than his worthy opponent. In fact they show him even more popular than the two of them combined. That is the will of the people."
The linebacker blitzed. "Your Honor everyone knows that it's the Democrats who have hacked into the polls and altered the results to their liking. Why this has even been reported in some newspapers, and you know newspapers wouldn't report something if someone had not said it. Besides polls are hearsay and inadmissible."
Ram Jacob Sheep consulted with the smartest man in America, his client. The President remembered something about the fairness doctrine from when he taught constitutional law, but he wasn't quite sure if constitutional law applied here or not. Nevertheless he gave Ram, as he called him, a one minute summary thereof, a summary to the best of his recollection that is.
"Under the fairness doctrine, Your Honor, it's not fair that the will of the people be denied," spoke up attorney Sheep. "Under the fairness doctrine, what is fair is that everyone's a winner, and that includes my client. This is one of the very first things that we teach our kids in school today, that everyone in this great country of ours, is a winner. And the reason for that is because we don't want any poor child's psyche to get damaged and their life become ruined and need repair if they have to worry about losing. No child should ever face the possibility of being a loser. Incidentally treatment for this, if it should so happen, heaven forbid, is covered for free under the Amazing Health Care Act." He couldn't resist getting this plug in. "Why if the President should lose here today, this could upset his children and we can't have that now can we? How would you like it if your father was a loser?" Ram Jacob Sheep sat down confident that he had butted his opponent on his keister with that bit about the children. Always play the children card. After all no one wants to hurt innocent children.
The swarm of the President Elect's attorneys were all abuzz. Then one emerged from the hive and made a beeline to the bench. It was not the linebacker. This attorney was a former Victoria's Secret model who had that extremely rare combination of beauty and brains, and needless to say she was dressed somewhat differently than the other attorneys.
"No one here is suggesting that we hurt or abuse young innocent children, Your Honor," she said standing in front of him, with her two top buttons of her blouse unbuttoned, as she looked up and batted her eyes at the judge as he fixated on her fluffy blouse. "But if anybody's guilty of abuse here, it's the Defendant for abusing the judicial system, abusing executive orders, abusing Congress and above all abusing the American voters. Please keep in mind your honor that under the fairness doctrine the majority shall not run rampant, shall not run amuck, shall not destroy the minority."
"Nor the minority over the majority," bleated Mr. Ram Jacob Sheep.
The Victoria's Secret attorney walked back to her table. Walked back in the way that she had been trained to walk down the runway, kind of sashaying from side to side as she went. Not another word was said until she sat down, then Mr. President Elect himself spoke up. "Your Honor if we could take a short recess here perhaps the parties here could make deal and get this settled."
"No way your Honor. Polls have consequences and we have the pollsters to prove it," baa-ed attorney Sheep.
"Will take a fifteen minute break and if a dee-ar," Judge Kangarito was trying to say deal, "hasn't been made, I'rr (I'll) give you my ruring (ruling)." Judge Kangarito was still having trouble pronouncing his el's as he was a recent immigrant from Japan via Syria since Syria was the quickest way to get into the country now thanks to a recent executive order.
Judge Kangarito was a political appointee, not that there's anything wrong with that, after all that's how one gets to be a judge, through politics, and therefore he knew what side his sushi wasn't buttered on. But above all he knew he had to appear fair and non political so the press didn't tear him limb from limb and eat him alive. So after he had finished his tea and read his tea bag, he reentered the courtroom and made his ruling, this time pronouncing his el's correctly.
"I have heard the arguments of counsel and both sides have made some good points." Always praise both sides. That was one of the first things that they taught you at judge school. That way their clients will feel they're getting their money's worth from their attorneys. He continued, "I'm going to apply the law of the Bible here," He dared not quote the Koran, for though the President might appreciate it, he still had to go with Christianity since the latest polls showed it still the dominant religion in this country, as of last week anyway. "And apply the law of the wise King Solomon. In other words I'm going to split the baby. Therefore the President shall reside in the left wing of the White House and Mr. President Elect shall reside in the right wing. The President shall remain the president of the blue states and Mr. President Elect shall become the president of the red states. I am aware that President Lincoln once said, 'A house divided cannot stand. That it must either become one or the other.' But things are different today. Today no one should have to have a president that they don't want, a president that is not their president, a president that they cannot identify with. There's no reason here why everyone should not be a winner. Mr. Lincoln was not infallible. He was a president, not a judge. So be it. The house is divided."
Both tables were abuzz now. The Defendant was happy because he got to stay on as president of a people that he could easily manipulate and furthermore he could ban any opposition now by executive order. And the Plaintiff was happy because he had gotten rid of those blankety blank blue states. The blue states were just trouble makers anyway and this way he wouldn't have to make any deals with those jerks.
The judge had made good ruling. Everyone was a winner.
B. Craig Grafton is a retired attorney whose stories have appeared in Romance Magazine, The Fable Online, The Zodiac Review and Heater and Frontier Tales. His most recent stories can be found in the Scarlet Leaf Review.