Holy Crap

Monica Goodling 5a Monica M Goodling Monica Gooding Alberto Gonzales Above the Law blog.JPGIt’s Good Friday — the Friday before a big holiday weekend. And we all know what that means: a high-profile resignation, timed in an attempt to avoid the news cycle.
Today we bid a fond farewell to the fabulous Monica M. Goodling. As de to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Monica Goodling helped coordinate the controversial firings of eight United States attorneys. When called upon to testify about the matter before Congress, she invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
Oh, Monica — you will be missed. Long after you disappear from the newspaper headlines, you will live on in our hearts. We will always carry a torch for you.
Like so many great blonde icons — Marilyn Monroe, Lady Diana Spencer, Anna Nicole Smith — you left us before your time. So it is fitting and proper that we quote from these lyrics, as we mark your passing from the halls of justice:

Marilyn Monroe Norma Jean Above the Law Blog.jpgAnd it seems to me, you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Eternal rest grant unto the Justice Department career of Monica Goodling, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon it. May it rest in peace. May her DOJ career, and the careers of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.
Gonzales Aide Goodling Resigns [Associated Press]
Top Gonzales Aide Monica Goodling Resigns [Washington Post]
Gonzales Aide Who Refused to Testify Resigns [New York Times]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Monica Goodling (scroll down)

No really, it does! The National Law Journal tells us so:
National Law Journal Largest Firms Hire Elite Schools.jpg
Now where’s our Drudge siren gif?
Largest law firms hire from elite schools [National Law Journal]

smell smelly NYU law library.jpgLike the mystery smell that took over the NYU law school library last month, the cause is unknown.
This sounds worrisome. Con Edison is investigating.
This natural-gas odor is being detected in midtown and downtown Manhattan, home to countless law firms. If you’re noticing this smell in your workplace, feel free to share your firsthand account of it (after securing your own gas mask).
Gas Smelled Over Large Area Of Manhattan [NBC via Drudge Report]
Gas-Like Odor Permeates Parts of New York City [Associated Press]

drudge siren.gifFor those of you who enjoyed poking fun at Harriet Miers during her ill-fated Supreme Court nomination, you won’t have her to kick around anymore.
(Yes, we know. When it comes to mockery of Harriet Miers, we have somewhat unclean hands.)
We must step away from our computer now. As Howard Bashman might say, we are meeting a very cool and important law professor for lunch (but won’t name him or her). Hahaha.
We’ll resume our coverage of the Miers demise after we return.
Miers Resigns As White House Counsel [Associated Press]

William Rehnquist William H Rehnquist William Hubbs Rehnquist Chief Justice Above the Law.jpgWe’re reading Tony Mauro’s super-juicy article as fast as we can. Highlights and discussion will follow shortly.
Okay, we’re done. Here are some excerpts:

The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s Senate confirmation battles in 1971 and 1986 were more intense and political than previously known, according to a newly released FBI file that also offers dramatic new details about Rehnquist’s 1981 hospitalization and dependence on a painkiller….

In July 1986, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Rehnquist to be chief justice, the Justice Department asked the FBI to interview witnesses who were preparing to testify that Rehnquist had intimidated minority voters as a Republican Party official in Arizona in the early 1960s. According to a memo in the Rehnquist file, an unnamed FBI official cautioned that the department “should be sensitive to the possibility that Democrats could charge the Republicans of misusing the FBI and intimidating the Democrats’ witnesses.” But then-Assistant Attorney General John Bolton — who more recently served as ambassador to the United Nations — signed off on the request and said he would “accept responsibility should concerns be raised about the role of the FBI.” It is unclear whether the FBI ever interviewed the witnesses.

John Bolton? That guy is everywhere! Did he have the walrus moustache back then?
More discussion — including tales of Rehnquist’s “bizarre ideas and outrageous thoughts,” his paranoia that the CIA was out to get him, and his attempt to escape from a hospital while in pajamas — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Was Chief Justice Rehnquist Addicted to Painkillers?”

animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report.GIFAnd at the peak of final exam studying, too! Our Greenwich Village correspondent reports:

I don’t know what it is, but it smells like the law library is in a dump. I gave up and left an hour ago. The whole basement of the library was EMPTY. But there were holdouts in the corners and the top floor in Vanderbilt.

We don’t know what the smell IS….

And from another NYU source:

People have been thanking me for confirming that they weren’t nuts. We’ve asked the librarians [about the mystery smell], but they have no answers.

From a commenter:

It smells like a Dumpster / port a potty combo, with an emphasis on the Dumpster. Think rotting trash in warm weather.

DEVELOPING…

donald rumsfeld donald h rumsfeld don rumsfeld Above the Law Legal Gossip Site.jpgThat’s what CNN and the Associated Press are reporting. President Bush is holding a press conference at 1 p.m.
This is obviously big news. Is it law-related? Yes, insofar as the global “war on terror” has raised a whole host of thorny legal issues: treatment of terror detainees, appropriate interrogation methods under the Geneva Convention, etc. A new Secretary of Defense may approach these issues in a different way.
(Also, even though Secretary Rumsfeld is not a lawyer, back in 1982 he served as Presidential Envoy on the Law of the Sea Treaty. And as everyone knows, maritime law is the bomb.)
GOP Says Rumsfeld Stepping Down [Associated Press]
Donald H. Rumsfeld bio [U.S. Department of Defense]

britney spears britney_spears naked nude breasts above the law atl britney spears topless.JPGMidterm elections, consider yourselves upstaged. Pop princess Britney Spiers is divorcing her wastrel husband, Kevin Federline.
More details, from TMZ (which broke the story, and has a copy of the divorce petition (PDF)):

[T]he legal papers, filed today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, [cite] “irreconcilable differences.” In her petition, Spears asks for both legal and physical custody of the couple’s two children, one-year old Sean Preston and two-month old Jayden James, with Federline getting reasonable visitation rights.

As for money, sources tell TMZ the couple, who married in Oct. 2004, has an iron-clad prenup. Not surprisingly, Spears is waiving her right to spousal support. She’s also asking the judge to make each party pay their own attorney’s fees….

Spears has hired powerhouse celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, who has repped a number of celebs, including Angelina Jolie, Nick Lachey and Kiefer Sutherland. We’re told Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe asked Wasser to rep both of them in their split, but Wasser declined for personal reasons.

We’re all in favor of keeping marriages together. But this split may be for the best. K-Fed was bad news from the start.
If any of you have worked with or litigated against Spears’s attorney, Laura A. Wasser, and can tell us a little more about her, please drop us a line.
Britney Spears Files for Divorce [TMZ.com]
Britney Spears FINALLY Divorces K-Fed [Gawker]
Britney Spears Divorcing K-Fed, Immediately Begins Search For Next Bad Relationship [Defamer]
Britney Spears Files For Divorce, Quashing Further Use of ‘Spederline’ [Jossip]
Laura Allison Wasser bio [Martindale-Hubbell]
Divorcing Stars Pick This Group: Top Hollywood Divorce Lawyers [USA Today]

new jersey map.jpgThe court rules that the State of New Jersey must provide for some way for gay couples to enter into legally-recognized unions.
* Committed same-sex couples “must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”
* The 4-3 ruling rests upon the New Jersey Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. Translation: The buck stops here. Nyah nyah.
* Unlike the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, New Jersey’s high court did not mandate bestowing upon gay unions the magical “M” word, “Marriage.”
* Instead, what to label this legal relationship will be decided by the legislative process. So expect it to get called “civil union” (as in Vermont).
* The state legislature has 180 days to enact the legislation providing for same-sex unions.
You can access the opinions, as a PDF file, by clicking here.
N.J. Court Backs Rights for Same-Sex Unions [New York Times]
New Jersey Court Sends Gay Marriage to Legislature [Reuters]
NJ Court Stops Short of Gay Marriage OK [Associated Press]
Lewis v. Harris (PDF)

Instead, you should be reading about the small plane aircraft that just crashed into a residential high-rise building in New York City.
Actually, we take that back. You can read about the crash right here; we’re following the story on the cable news networks. Refresh your browser for our updates on this developing story.
Update #1: At least two confirmed dead. Initial reports suggest that this incident is NOT terrorism related.
Update #2: Drudge has changed his headline text from red back to black. According to DHS spokesman Russ Knock, “The initial indication is that there is a terrible accident.” Up in New York, home of our corporate Mother Ship, the NYPD is out in full force.
Update #3: CNN is now reporting that the pilot of the four-passenger aircraft, which took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, put in a “mayday” call before the crash. The pilot cited a fuel problem.
Update #4: A pitcher for the New York Yankees, Cory Lidle, may have been on board the aircraft in question. Lidle’s passport was found on the street after the crash.
Update #5: At least four people were killed in the crash.
Small Aircraft Hits Manhattan Building [Associated Press via Drudge]
Small Aircraft Crashes into Manhattan High Rise [Reuters]
Small Aircraft Hits Building in Manhattan [New York Times]

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