It's a horrible, hot, muggy day here in Baltimore. My tomato plants are all wilty, and even Mr. Nils, the outdoor cat to end all outdoor cats, does not want to go outside, preferring instead to mope around on the sofa, looking very, very put out. I myself had to go to the dentist today, and while I usually don't mind the dentist -- my dentist is quite nice, and I have a pretty high tolerance for pain -- this time he managed to find something to do that really bothered me: making me sit clenching my teeth for ten minutes while some horrible-tasting corrosive-feeling fluid slowly trickled down my throat, feeling as though it was burning a hole right in front of my tonsils, and me unable to do anything about it. (I'm having a crown replaced; the horrible fluid was some sort of coagulant that I think was meant to ensure no bleeding gums while I was having an impression made of my tooth.)
My present theory is that all the icky, sticky awfulness of Baltimore has leaked out through the intertubes, making people across the world crankier than normal without knowing why. It's a thought, at any rate.
So, to cheer you up, I present something fun. Twelve law professors submitted an amicus brief in the case of Scooter Libby, in which they claimed that the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald is a close Constitutional call. The twelve are: Vikram Amar, Randy Barnett, Robert Bork, Alan Dershowitz, Viet Dinh, Douglas Kmiec, Gary Lawson, Earl Maltz, Thomas Merrill, Robert Nagel, Richard Parker, and Robert Pushaw. I take the fact that I, a non-lawyer, recognize five of these names to mean that it's a pretty high-powered, and generally right-leaning, list; if I'm wrong, I trust I will be corrected.
Anyways: today Judge Walton filed an order granting their request to file their amicus brief. It seems to be a pretty standard order except for one thing: it has a footnote that reads as follows:
"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."
Heh. Indeed. (h/t CharleyCarp, who also wrote an excellent post on the decision to dismiss the indictments against the two Guantanamo detainees who were going to be brought up before military commissions.)