Hawaii Supreme Court Quotes The Wire in Gun Rights Ruling

'The thing about the old days, they the old days' was first heard on the HBO show
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2024 12:20 PM CST
Hawaii Supreme Court Quotes 'The Wire' in Gun Rights Ruling
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Josiah S)

"What's past is past" was the underlying message, sort of, of a ruling this week from Hawaii's Supreme Court, though its decision cited a different famous quote from a popular TV series to get its point across. CBS News and the AP report that the state's high court issued a ruling Wednesday that allows the prosecution of Christopher Wilson, accused of carrying a gun in public in 2017, to go forward. "The spirit of aloha clashes with a federally mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities," read the court's decision, penned by Justice Todd Eddins.

Eddins also cites local predecent, noting that in the 19th century, when Hawaii was still categorized as a kingdom, residents weren't allowed to carry around dangerous weapons. He then quoted HBO's The Wire to emphasize that we're now in the 21st century, and the laws should reflect that. "As the world turns, it makes no sense for contemporary society to pledge allegiance to the founding era's culture, realities, laws, and understanding of the Constitution," the court's decision noted. It then included words of wisdom from the fourth season of The Wire, which the Wrap notes were spoken by Anwan Glover's character, Slim Charles: "The thing about the old days, they the old days."

The court's incorporation of Wire language caught the attention of the show's creator, David Simon, on X. "Slim Charles was a sagacious motherf---er," Simon reacted Thursday on the social media platform, retweeting a clip of Glover speaking the famous line. Not everyone appreciated the series shoutout, however. "The use of pop culture references ... is evidence this is not a well-reasoned opinion," said Alan Beck, an attorney who has challenged Hawaii's gun restrictions but wasn't involved with Wilson's case, per CBS. (More The Wire stories.)

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