Monday, June 01, 2009

Certainly Not a Certain Cert Petition

Speaking of the US Supreme Court, Charlie Nesson - the Harvard professor who is leading the ultra-controversial defense of Joel Tenenbaum - has sought certiorari (i..e. "leave to appeal" in Canadian) from the US Supreme Court on the First Circuit's rebuff of his attempt to have the proceedings webcast.

Oh yes, and a stay in the meantime. Which if granted could be a long time. The trial is currently set for July 20, 2009.

Prof. Nesson concludes his cert petition by arguing:
Internet now enables the members of the public
to come freely into court to attend and hear and witness
and learn for themselves what is going on. Total
prohibition of public access by all technological means
other than stenographic transcript is unnecessary,
unwise, unconstitutional, and radically out of step
with the current needs of our citizenry and our nation.
Now, I am not an American lawyer, much less an expert in US procedure, but I would be astounded if:
  • cert is granted on an arguably purely procedural, albeit interesting, matter - especially considering the less than satisfactory briefings by both sides in the first instance motion
  • in any event, the District Court agrees to stay this case for what could be a very long time.
Documents available here and hat tip as usual to Ray Beckerman.


PS: June 2, 2009. No surprise. District Court Judge Gertner denied the motion for a stay. HT Ray Beckerman.

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