Friday February 7, 2003
The term "kangaroo court" refers to any impromptu, ill-run, and likely illegal court proceeding. Etymological research indicates that the term found its first use not in Australia (home of the kangaroo, as well as numerous other curious and annoying mammals), but in 19th-century America, in the western territories of the United States.

This fascinating discrepancy has led a few 31st-century anthropologists to suspect a giant U.S. cover-up regarding the extermination and eventual extinction of the Giant California Kangaroo. "Obviously," they say, "whoever did this got a hasty trial."

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Part IV: Tempestuous Fugitives

Transcript

Tagon:As quick as this was, I have to assume that charges were dismissed, and there was no trial?
Luna Cop:Oh, there was a trial.
Luna Cop:The military called us, invoked some security clause, and insisted that we try them immediately.
Tagon:Uh-oh. This sounds like a kangaroo court.
Luna Cop:Kangaroo court-martial.
Luna Cop:Sentencing was light, though. The judge only wanted to sentence them to 100 hours of community service, and even that got thrown out.
Schlock:The prosecuting attorney had the mayor on the phone before you could say 'collateral damage.'