Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The life of the law has not been logic: It has been experience.” He might have added that the life of the law has not been doggy doo, either. He may have assumed people already knew that.
But some Little Rock judges apparently don’t know it, or at least not well enough. Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines has sent a memo telling the county’s circuit judges that he’s received complaints about dog urine and feces in the courthouse’s hallways, and that if he receives more, he’ll ban dogs from the building. Villines said in the memo that he’s “long been aware” that some judges take their dogs to work, but he tolerated the practice until people began to complain recently.
“On at least one occasion, the canine culprit was witnessed in the act,” Villines wrote. “The dog’s owner was seen walking away without attending to the mess.” A personal note: We have ourselves seen a circuit judge walking his dog in a residential neighborhood, and not picking up feces left by the dog on or near the sidewalk. We considered a citizen’s arrest, but refrained. It’s dangerous to make enemies of judges and doctors.
A conscientious public servant with authority of his own, Buddy Villines accepts the risk. Would there were more like him.