We can disagree with the findings of some judges. But, the Trump appointed judges do seem to favor hyperbole. I wrote about a Fifth Circuit decision in which three Trump appointed judges argued that funding one federal agency through a second federal agency amounted to “despotism.” See that prior post here. Now, another Trump appointed judge in the Ninth Circuit (California) has also tried to make his point via hyperbole. The appeal in Golkar v. City of San Diego, No. 21-55046 (9th Cir. 10/26/2022), concerned San Diego police officers who would mark the tires with chalk, to enforce parking time limits. Two plaintiffs filed a class action arguing that chalking their tires violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition on search and seizure without a warrant. The car owners, they argued, did not give the police permission to mark their tires.

On appeal, the majority opinion found the chalk was a de minimis effect which did not infringe upon personal liberty. But, Judge Bumatay, appointed by Pres. Trump, dissented. He believed the chalk violated the framer’s intent. Looking back at American Revolutionary history, he compared chalking tires to  the “Crown officials’ abuse of investigative tools’ that ‘helped spark the American Revolution.” The majority opinion viewed this dissent as “analysis by hyperbole.” See the ABA Bar Journal report here. I do not think Sam Adams or Thomas Jefferson were appalled by British soldiers marking houses or carriages with chalk in 1776.