Judge Slams Libby's Luminary "Friends of the Court"
<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Judge Slams Libby's Luminary "Friends of the Court"</h1><p>June 8, 2007 (LPAC) --What Judge Reggie Walton in the Scooter Libby case thinks about all of Dick Cheney's and Libby's highfalutin friends who have rushed to Libby's defense, is becoming quite clear.</p><p>Yesterday, a dozen law professors filed an <em>amicus curiae</em> (friend-of-the-court) brief, supporting Libby's claim that he has strong appeal issues, which Libby is using to argue that he should remain free on bail while is appeal is being heard--which could take a year or two. Among them were Robert Bork, Viet Dinh (author of the Patriot Act), Alan Dershowitz, and a group of others from all the best law schools.</p><p>Normally, judges simply sign an order allowing the filing of an <em>amicus</em> brief. But in this case, Judge Walton--whose typical defendant standing in front of him to be sentenced, is a young black male--let loose in the following scathing footnote:</p><p>"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 an indication 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."</p><p>Earlier, over 150 letters pleading for clemency for Libby were submitted to the court prior to his sentencing, comprising a virtual Who's Who of the neo-con war party -- ranging from Henry Kissinger, Donald Rumsfeld, James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Natan Sharansky, Norman Podhoretz, Richard Perle, and the Office of Special Plans' Abram Shulsky. The judge's irritation was obvious when Libby's lawyer Ted Wells read six of the letters out loud during Libby's June 5 sentencing hearing; "I have read all the letters," Judge Reggie Walton said dryly after hearing the first, but that didn't deter Wells from reading the rest -- including one from that paragon of public virtue, the disgraced Paul Wolfowitz.</p></div></body>