Thursday, June 14, 2007

Libby In The Can

I. Lewis Libby -- the I stands for "Inmate" -- will not be free like the aspens during the appeal of his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice. If you want to know what today's hearing in United States v. Libby was all about, read Pachacutec and not Bloomberg.

A chump reading Bloomberg might think the issue presented was whether Judge Walton thought the prosecution had presented good evidence of Libby's guilt:

"The evidence of guilt was overwhelming" and arguments by Libby's lawyers today for release were "not close," Walton said before ruling from the bench. The judge didn't specify when Libby must report to prison, though he said it may take six to eight weeks for the Bureau of Prisons to be prepared to take him.

In truth, the arguments and the court's decision focused on whether Libby should remain free on bond pending appeal because there was a likelihood the verdict would be reversed on the ground that Fitzgerald's appointment violated the constitution. (Per the applicable statute, the issue is not whether the legal question is a "close question," but whether the appeal is "likely ... to result in reversal." You try telling a district court judge his interpretation of the law is likely to result in reversal.)

Meanwhile, Judge Walton has given us a new -- and correct -- definition of the verb "Borking." Dismissing the amicus brief from the Bork 12, the judge stated (per Pachacutec's paraphrase):

With all due respect, these are intelligent people, but I would not accept this brief from a first year law student. I believe this was put out to put pressure on this court in the public sphere to rule as you wish.

(The quote is confirmed, but mangled, here.)

As Libby packs his toothbush, we eagerly await more simpering and whimpering from The Corner and the Weekly Standard. Let the symphonies commence.

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