Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Monday, June 18, 2007

Because it is America, everything is always about race, even if only a little bit. I had thought that the decision denying Scooter Libby's motion to stay his sentence pending appeal was phrased rather strongly, as was the order granting leave to file an expedited appeal: "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."

Come to find out that Judge Walton is African-American, and may have a somewhat better insight into sentencing practices and their disproportionate effect on the minority community than your run-of-the-mill federal court judge because of his background. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but it surprises me a little that I didn't know this about the judge until just now.

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