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Those bloggers can be so mean!

June 11th, 2007

Following the conviction of Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby for perjury in relation to the Plame case, pleas for clemency have been pouring into the courts from the great and good, including Bolton, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. But the great and good have become a little shy lately, and its all because of those beastly bloggers. According to the New York Times, Libby’s lawyers argued against the release of the letters to the media on the grounds that

the real possibility that these letters, once released, would be published on the Internet and their authors discussed, even mocked, by bloggers

Judge Reggie B. Walton appears to be well aware of the fun bloggers can have when high-powered advocates of the unfettered power of the executive turn out to be soft on crime. He refused the application. Then he granted the petition of twelve leading lights of the legal profession to submit an amicus curiae brief, noting, in a footnote

It is an impressive show of public service when twelve prominent and distinguished current and former law professors of well-respected schools are able to amass their collective wisdom in the course of only several days to provide their legal expertise to the Court on behalf of a criminal defendant. The Court trusts that this is a reflection of these eminent academics’ willingness in the future to step to the plate and provide like assistance in cases involving any of the numerous litigants, both in this Court and throughout the courts of our nation, who lack the financial means to fully and properly articulate the merits of their legal positions even in instances where failure to do so could result in monetary penalties, incarceration, or worse. The Court will certainly not hesitate to call for such assistance from these luminaries, as necessary in the interests of justice and equity, whenever similar questions arise in the cases that come before it.

Somehow I think Judge Walton thought bloggers might want to quote that statement, and I’m not going to disappoint him (via a comment in Unfogged, via BitchPhD).

The recipients of this missive were

Vikram Amar
Professor of Law
University of California

Randy E. Barnett
Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory
Georgetown University Law Center

Robert H. Bork
Formerly the Alexander M. Bickel
Professor of Public Law at Yale Law School

Alan M. Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
Harvard Law School

Christopher J. Wright (DC Bar # 367384)
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP
(Counsel for Amici)

Viet D. Dinh
Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center

Douglas W. Kmiec
Professor of Constitutional Law and Caruso
Family Chair in Constitutional Law
Pepperdine University School of Law

Gary S. Lawson
Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law

Earl M. Maltz
Distinguished Professor
Rutgers School of Law – Camden

Thomas W. Merrill
Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law
Columbia Law School

Robert F. Nagel
Rothgerber Professor of Constitutional Law
University of Colorado Law School

Richard D. Parker
Paul W. Williams Professor of Criminal Justice
Harvard Law School

Robert J. Pushaw
James Wilson Professor of Law
Pepperdine University School of Law

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  1. Paulkelly
    June 11th, 2007 at 17:55 | #1

    I knew Dershowitz was awfully keen to legalise torture (but only in the ticking bomb scenario!), keeping Scooter out of jail have the same high minded ring.

    This Judge Walton doesn’t seem very sound. Not our sort of person at all.

  2. Paulkelly
    June 11th, 2007 at 17:56 | #2

    keeping Scooter out doesn’t have …

  3. swio
    June 11th, 2007 at 20:41 | #3

    The expectation of privelege is like a something out the age of landed gentry. Almost beyond satire.

  4. Hal9000
    June 12th, 2007 at 09:36 | #4

    Other than his serial advocacy of torture, Israeli ‘administrative detention’ etc, Dershowitz was also recently in the news for his successful campaign to bully De Paul University to deny Norman Finkelstein tenure. Finkelstein, it will be recalled, had exposed Dershowitz as a plagiarist.

    How is it that this man still gets a by-line on Four Corners as a ‘civil libertarian’? Perhaps the defence of Libby’s liberties is taken to count for those of ordinary citizens.

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