Avast, Ye Scurvy Sea Dogs!

The inimitable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, noted and widely admired for his occasionally colorful opinions, has done it again. We invite your attention to his opinion in Institute of Cetacean Research et al. v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Case No. 12-35266, Opinion filed Feb. 25, 2013. To read it click here   http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/02/25/1235266.pdf 

Bottom line: The court took a dim view of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s vigilante tactics employed in harassing Japanese ships conducting research on whales, enjoined its unlawful activities, and ordered that upon remand the case be reassigned to another trial judge. We won’t go through the whole megillah, but judge Kozinski’s opening passage must not be lost to posterity, so here it is:

“You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.”