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May 30, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SHOW US THE LETTERS....A pair of bloggers have filed an amicus brief in federal court in Washington D.C. asking the court to release the pre-sentencing letters that were submitted in the Scooter Libby perjury case. More here.

Kevin Drum 12:37 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

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Speaking of Scooter Libby, it turns out that likely GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson is a charter member of the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Trust. Quite a reversal his days as a hero of the Watergate hearings.

For the sad story of another Republican who no longer believes in "law and order," see:
"Fred Thompson: Watergate Hero Turned Plamegate Villain."

Posted by: Furious on May 30, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I hope they got a good First Amendment + criminal lawyer and did a top-notch job of it. I suspect that poorly done amicus briefs, which is probably the majority of those submitted, just annoy judges.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on May 30, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky, I know who did the work for blue girl. So do you. I happen to think he is first rate.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 30, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Way to go, Blue Girl.

Posted by: Brojo on May 30, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

It will be interesting to see if any of the Libby defense letters were written by high-powered Washington "journalists".

Posted by: Joe Buck on May 30, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Way to go Blue Girl!!!

Posted by: bob on May 30, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

What do they mean by "pre-sentencing letters"? Do they mean the pre-sentence report composed by the U.S. Probation Office, which computes the recommended sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines?

Because if so, that's considered highly confidential by the courts, and is almost never publicly released.

Posted by: Brock on May 30, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Whoever filed that dastardly brief deserves to be singled out and humiliated for wasting the court's valuable time and for printing the brief on the cream-colored paper he was planning on using to print resumes and cover letters upon.

Damn you, liberals. Damn you all to hell.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on May 30, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Brock

I have read the brief, and Blue Girl has a well reasoned argument. I think I will let her or her lawyer share it with you. I am hoping they link to the brief pretty soon.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 30, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl is awesome. I am SO GLAD she's not a Republican!

Posted by: MMC on May 30, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Blue girl, red headed Schlafly?!!

Sorry.

Posted by: Brojo on May 30, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Brock on May 30, 2007 at 1:34 PM:

Do you mean the pre-sentence report compiled by the U.S. Probation Office, which computes the recommended sentence under the Guidelines?

Nope...BG is talking about letters sent to Judge Walton in support of Libby, presumably by government officials and others. The report you refer to is confidential, however.

Needless to say, Team Libby is pushing for nondisclosure of the support letters. I'm disagreeing with the 'disclosure is of no benefit to the public' argument given...whether the public interest outweighs privacy considerations is something I don't have the legal chops to tackle.

Having said that, it would be very interesting to see who is writing love letters for Scooter to encourage a reduction in sentence...Good job, BGRS...

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

whether the public interest outweighs privacy considerations is something I don't have the legal chops to tackle.

Neither do I, but I'm not going to let that stop me. ;)

People testify publicly in sentencing hearings all the time. I see no reason others should be allowed to influence the judicial process in secret just because they think their public support would br embarrassing -- indeed, if their support would be embarrassing, that's all the more compelling reason for it to be public. Those who wish to keep their attempts to sway the judge's decision secret should have the burden of supplying a compelling reason to do so, and "the mockery of bloggers" ain't it, kid.

My hat is off -- as always -- to BGRS.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Marcy Wheeler sez the judge has ordered at least partial disclosure.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory - That order was issued by the court late this morning subsequent to the filing of our brief and a previously filed one by a main stream media consortium.

Posted by: bmaz on May 30, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

As I indicated, I'm rooting for full and prompt disclosure -- and then the mockery of the bloggers. Kudos all around!

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

No no please! Not the mockery.

You libs are so, so, so... uncivil!

Posted by: craigie on May 30, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, thanks for posting this. Blue Girl deserves major props.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Go, Blue Girl! Thanks a bunch. Bet something comes out of this, as it seems every time we pick up a rock . . .

Posted by: MaxGowan on May 30, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, I hope you meant mockery by the bloggers. Unless you're Norman's pal...

Posted by: thersites on May 30, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

It's unfortunate that the amici don't know the difference between "it's" and "its." It may not be a big deal on a blog, but in a federal court filing it's like walking into the courtroom with your fly down.

Posted by: JR on May 30, 2007 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK
A pair of bloggers have filed an amicus brief in federal court in Washington D.C. asking the court to release the pre-sentencing letters that were submitted in the Scooter Libby perjury case. More here.

Hey, you know, bloggers are people with names; even the anonymous ones tend to have specific handles. You give specific credit when you talk about Andrew Sullivan or Mickey Kaus or any of a wide range of other hacks, why not here?

Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

JR - That is spoken with the idiocy of a man that has nothing behind the fly of his pants. Grow up.

Posted by: bmaz on May 30, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

I hope you meant mockery by the bloggers.

Of course I did; I was also mocking the brief filed by (if memory serves me right) Team Libby, which warned that revealing the letters would lead to mockery by the bloggers. I think they used the phrase I did.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory- Indeed they did use that term. In fact, that is exactly what precipitated our effort in the first place.

Posted by: bmaz on May 30, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Direct that snark at me, JR - I missed the damned typo.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 30, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
I was quite sure you meant "by." Although I didn't get the reference to the original brief, still I was speaking tongue in cheek. Or whatever one does with a tongue and a keyboard; I prefer not to think about it too much.

Posted by: thersites on May 30, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, if you are half the person I think you are, and you really need to know their real names you should be able to figure out a way to identify our intrepid bloggers.

I was thinking about our two bloggers this afternoon. They are folks we all know and of whom we should all be proud. I know I am. They decided to stand up and do something for all bloggers, everywhere. Actually they decided to stand up for all concerned Americans, everywhere. They have moved beyond mere comment. They are asking questions. They are demanding information to which we should all be privy. That's journalism.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 30, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a link to the brief, straight from the Watching Those We Choose site.

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