In his Rumhole of the Bailey books, John Mortimer discusses the problem of "judgeitis," a disease that afflicts many denizens of the bench. Judgeitis consists of making lengthy, pompous, and legally pointless comments from the bench that serve only to illustrate that the judge in question has a hopelessly inflated view of his own profundity, influence, and importance. As my all time favorite example of this vice, I offer up the entirety of Justice Harry Blackmun's concurrence in Welsh v. Wisconsin, 466 U.S. 740 (1984).
In broad terms, the case stands for the principle that when one is judging the existence of exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless search under the Fourth Amendment the gravity of the offense involved has some role to play. Hence, one might be able to burst into a home without a warrant to recover evidence of mass murder that was about to be destroyed, but the imminent destruction of evidence relating to jay walking wouldn't justify dispensing with a warrant. In Welsh the minor crime in question consisted of a misdemeanor DUI offense. Justice Blackmun authored an opinion whose only purpose was to state that he was outraged -- outraged! -- that DUI was a misdemeanor in Wisconsin. The most gratuitously pompous nugget of a very gratuitous and pompous opinion is this passage:
I yield to no one in my profund personal concern about the unwilliness of our national consciousness to face upt to -- and do something about -- the coninuing slaughter upon our Nation's highways, a good percentage of which is due to drivers who are drunk or semi-incapacitated because of alcohol or drug ingestion.
Id. at 755 (Blackmun, J. concurring). This is judgeitis in the grand style. Here we have a case involving the right to privacy and the limits of the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement, and Justice Blackmun takes this moment to once more to affirm his profound personal concern about traffic safety to the consciousness of the nation, yielding to no one!
Earth to Harry. No one cares what you think about traffic safety.