Monday, November 16, 2020

Brennon B. v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 13, 2020)

This is definitely a comprehensive opinion.

It's essentially about a single issue:  Whether a public school district is a "business establishment" under the Unruh Civil Rights Act.  The Court of Appeal says:  No.

Justice Banke's opinion is sixty pages long.  And deep.  It explores -- at extraordinary length -- the history of both the underlying statute as well as the various cases that have gone one way or the other on the issue.

I'm always impressed with in-depth analyses like this.  As a practical matter, they're hard to write.  What justice has enough time to write 60-page opinions, even in unusual cases?  Usually you're just trying to keep up with your various cases and get things out of the door.  Of course, you've got law clerks, and they definitely help.  But they're trying to do the same thing:  keep up with volume.  Writing an exegesis on a particular topic isn't something that you can generally afford.

There's a split in the cases on this issue, and I'm not totally positive that Justice Banke is totally right on the merits.  But I'm also not sure she's wrong, either.  Regardless, she does an admirable job advocating for her conclusion.  And, again, it's a very comprehensive opinion.