WASHINGTON, DC - In a far-reaching decision that will likely create complicated consequences for the American livestock and wedding-planning industries, the Supreme Court this morning ruled 5-4 that all US marriage dowries "must include three non-diseased oxen."
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited "the weight of the expansive penumbra surrounding the historically emerging and prevailing opinions of tribal shamans from Lesotho to Myanamar" in issuing the historic ruling in American Cattleman Association vs. Modern Bride, Helverson, et al.
In a scathing and sometimes caustic dissent, Judge Antonin Scalia wrote that "Holy. Freakin'. Shit."
The American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed an amicus brief in the case, praised the decision as "an important first step in insuring that American grooms will eventually share the same access to bovine property rights as the rest of the international community."
"The decision underscores the principle of Federalism by creating uniformity in our notoriously inconsistent state dowry laws," noted Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe. "For example, Iowa grooms are entitled to $300 and a two-night honeymoon trip to the Wisconsin Dells, while just across the border in Missouri, grooms only get $200 and a set of air shocks for their TransAm. Thankfully, the Court has brought some sanity to the situation."
Besides expanding the rights of male clanspeople in dowry disputes, the sweeping 600 page Supreme Court opinion clarified U.S. law across a broad spectrum of civil, economic and traffic codes. Among the highlights:
Citing EU and Belgian case law, the Court declared that signage on U.S. Interstate Highways must be translated to both French and Flemish by 2007.
The Court also reconciled a number of conflicting Japanese/US traffic standards, ruling that starting Friday, motorists may drive on either side of American roads.
In another civil finding, the Court noted prevailing Nepalese-Canadian-Yemeni standards in opening the way for legalized stonings at arranged gay marriages.
The ruling overturned a 7th Circuit decision by declaring "The First Rule of Fight Club" unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.
By a 5-4 margin, it reversed death sentences for prisoners convicted of crimes committed while juveniles; however, the Court ruled that states may voluntarily terminate prisoners as "extremely late-term abortions" under Roe v. Wade.
Overturning a previous decision by a European panel, the Court declared Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg winner of the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest.
In a surprise finding, the Court ruled itself unconstitional; but, citing the tradition of international courts ignoring US court rulings, said that this ruling itself was unconstitutional.
Attorneys for defendant John Helverson said their client "would make a good faith effort" to comply with the decision, and said he was already constructing an oxen feedlot in the back yard of his Glendale, CA home in anticipation of the May wedding of his daughter Ashley, 25.
"Though we are disappointed, we and Mr. Helverson respect the Court's decision," said attorney Mark Epstein. "With another case under review, we can't afford a contempt citation."
In a related case, the Court is expected to rule sometime in late March whether Ashley Helverson and fiance Jason Garcia can be extradited to Saudi Arabia to face the death penalty for fornication.