So the other night I notice that the RSS feed for Jan Crawford Greenburg's "Legalities" was pulling in all sorts of other stuff. What gives? Well, according to this post, Legalities (and several other blogs hosted by ABC News) are being folded into something called "The World Newser," a generic ABC World News blog. This is terribly unfortunate -- and quite poorly timed.
For those of us who follow the Supreme Court, Greenburg is indispensable. Her book, Supreme Conflict, was great (as Orin, Todd, and Ilya agreed). As Ilya noted, "Greenburg has a solid understanding of both conservative and liberal legal thought and she uses it to good effect in trying to understand what the Court has done in the era of Rehnquist and Roberts." Since news of Souter's retirement leaked, Greenburg has continued to break tidbits about the search for his replacement.
So why would ABC News fold Legalities into a generic news blog on the eve of a Supreme Court nomination, just when interest in a legal news blogs would peak? Beats me. The only explanation offered on the World Newser is that it's an effort "to make it easier for everyone -- one stop shopping." What they seem to miss, however, is that the focused content of Legalities -- like that of many other blogs -- was a feature, not a bug. I have no interest in wading through posts about Afghanistan's "summer fighting season" and "What Happens When Telemarketers Barrage A Reporter's Home?" in the vain hope I'll find a valuable Greenburg nugget. And judging from the early comments here, I am not alone.
Perhaps not all is lost. As of this morning, the Legalities page is still operating, even if the feed has been folded into the World Newser. Perhaps there's time for the brass at ABC to reconsider.