Judge Walton Tells Big Name Lawyers for Libby Pro Bono Work for Poor Defendants in Their Future

Brian Zick

David Corn reports On Thursday, twelve notable legal scholars asked to file an amicus brief in the Scooter Libby case, arguing that there are serious constitutional questions regarding the legal authority of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The group includes mostly conservative legal experts, such as Robert Bork and Viet Dinh. But also aboard is Alan Dershowitz, a civil libertarian. (…) To intervene in the case, the legal experts had to ask Walton permission to file their amicus brief. In a brief two-sentence order issued on Friday, Walton said, fine. David then quotes from a footnote in the order: 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.

Limited time: $10 gift subscriptions

We've made it easier and more affordable to give the gift of In These Times than ever. Give a shining example of a free, independent press to all the progressive thinkers on your gift list. For a limited time, 12-issue gift subscriptions are just $10.

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue