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.