Like others, I was initially struck by the footnote in Judge Walton's order granting the motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief on whether Scooter Libby should be released on bail pending 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 the 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.
"Ouch," I thought. Yet the footnote's sting subsides dramatically upon reading the actual motion in question. The snark hardly seems justified given that the amici law professors seek to address a serious constitutional question well within their academic expertise in a high profile case. More here.