1. The Fort Lauderdale federal courthouse is still closed due to flooding weeks ago.
2. Check out this wild sentencing, covered by Jay Weaver:
It started out as a routine sentencing of a Colombian cocaine smuggler and wound up as a messy and very Miami legal drama. You’ve got a local jeweler who deals in high-end watches claiming he’s been stiffed on a quarter-million loan to the smuggler’s friend, who bankrolled his legal defense. You’ve got an attorney hired by the jeweler to collect the debt making his claim in a criminal case, something that just never happens in by-the-book federal court. And you’re got a doozy of a motion by the jeweler’s attorney, arguing the drug trafficker should get punished hard because his pal who took out the loan hasn’t paid up, that the FBI fell down on the job of investigating the unpaid debt, and that the defense attorney for the smuggler ought to be sanctioned for any number of reasons.
3. Justice Alito apparently believes he knows who the leaker is. And he's blaming the bar for not coming to his defense. Oh boy. Via the NY Times:
He added that he was disappointed that lawyers had not come to the defense of the court, which has faced mounting scrutiny for what critics say are serious ethical lapses.
“This type of concerted attack on the court and on individual justices” is, he said, “new during my lifetime.”
He added: “We are being hammered daily, and I think quite unfairly in a lot of instances. And nobody, practically nobody, is defending us. The idea has always been that judges are not supposed to respond to criticisms, but if the courts are being unfairly attacked, the organized bar will come to their defense.”
Instead, Justice Alito said, “if anything, they’ve participated to some degree in these attacks.”
4. Unlike the criticism of Justice Thomas, I'm not sure this attack on Chief Justice Roberts' wife, who has a very successful attorney placement firm, is justified. From Business Insider:
"When I found out that the spouse of the chief justice was soliciting business from law firms, I knew immediately that it was wrong," the whistleblower, Kendal B. Price, who worked alongside Jane Roberts at the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, told Insider in an interview. "During the time I was there, I was discouraged from ever raising the issue. And I realized that even the law firms who were Jane's clients had nowhere to go. They were being asked by the spouse of the chief justice for business worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there was no one to complain to. Most of these firms were likely appearing or seeking to appear before the Supreme Court. It's natural that they'd do anything they felt was necessary to be competitive."
Roberts' apparent $10.3 million in compensation puts her toward the top of the payscale for legal headhunters. Price's disclosures, which were filed under federal whistleblower-protection laws and are now in the hands of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, add to the mounting questions about how Supreme Court justices and their families financially benefit from their special status, an area that Senate Democrats are vowing to investigate after a series of disclosure lapses by the justices themselves.
5. So, should there be an ethics code for the Justices? This WaPo piece makes fun of the High Court for pushing back against the code.