Supreme Court May Decide Supreme Court Argument Argument

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The furious (and now completely ridiculous) battle over which attorney gets to argue Carcieri v. Kempthorne for the petitioners in the Supreme Court continues to rage, and it now looks like it may be resolved by the Court itself on Friday.

Because the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't have anything better to do.

As you may recall (if you were here two days ago), the petitioners and their attorneys (Joe Larisa and former SG Ted Olson) have been bickering about this for months.  They actually filed a "motion for divided argument," asking to split up the 30 minutes; but the Court denied the motion.  Olsen then tried to go ninja: he just filed a form claiming that he (alone) would argue for the full 30 minutes — only to find out that Larisa had tried the same trick.  Unamused, the Court's clerk told them to go work it out and submit one name by Thursday.  But as we learned last time, not only could the parties not work it out, even by coin toss, they couldn't even agree on the rules for the coin toss.

Things have not improved.  Larisa sent the Court a letter on Monday saying that since it didn't look like the parties would be able to agree by Thursday, he was filing an "emergency motion to reconsider the motion for divided argument."  This caused the other side to blink.  Olson sent a letter later that day saying that Rhode Island had magnanimously decided it would not object to giving Larisa ten of the 30 minutes.  Larisa agreed.  A breakthrough appeared imminent.  But those who had hoped for a resolution (a group that does not include me) had those hopes dashed when the state Attorney General, apparently in defiance of the governor, told the Court that he would not agree to give up even the ten minutes, and would instead make "a renewed effort to select one counsel."

At last report, the Court had confirmed that it would take up the "emergency" motion at its private conference on Friday, October 31 (Halloween).

Link: BLT: The Blog of Legal Times