Last Friday, in the Scooter Libby case, Judge Reggie Walton delivered quite the benchslap. Some brief background, from Ana Marie Cox:
A group of exceedingly prominent law professors (including Alan Dershowitz and Robert Bork) filed an amicus brief to Judge Reggie Walton [on Friday], arguing that the Libby verdict could possibly be overturned on appeal because of the “close question” about the constitutionality of the special prosecutor….
I was struck (as were others) by the footnote Judge Walton appended to his agreement to have the brief submitted:
Here’s the feisty 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.
Judge Walton, feel free to call upon The Dersh for help in future cases. He’s more than happy to offer his opinion on any subject under the sun. In fact, you may quickly come to regret your “call for such assistance” from that loquacious luminary.
(But you might want to give Judge Bork a break. He’s a little preoccupied right now….)
Update: The WSJ Law Blog has more here, including the names of additional celebrity professors on the brief.
Shorter Reggie: I Will Remember Your Interest in Public Service the Next Time Someone Really Needs It [The Next Hurrah]
Libby’s Last Stand [Swampland / Time.com]
Law Blog Footnote of the Day: the Scooter Libby Trial [WSJ Law Blog]
(Gavel bang: Several email correspondents, plus a commenter.)