August 13, 2009

Floyd Abrams Wants a Part of the Citizens United Argument, and Apparently Ted Olson Does Not Want to Share

I was checking the Supreme Court docket in the Citizens United case to see if there had been a ruling on the government's motion to divide oral argument time with the BCRA Proponent's lawyer (and former SG) Seth Waxman. (There is no ruling on this motion noted in the docket.)

But I did see these two interesting entries:

    Jul 31 2009 Motion of Senator Mitch McConnell in support of appellant for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed.
    Aug 3 2009 Opposition of appellant to motion of Senator McConnell for divided argument.
Floyd Abrams is representing Sen. McConnell. The amicus brief is here, and it argues that both Austin and McConnell should be overruled.

I find it unusual that an amicus would ask to argue a case when uninvited by the side it is supporting--especially when there is no substantive difference between the position of the party and its amicus ("with amici like these....").

I would very much like to see Citizen United's opposition to the motion. (Already this case has had its share of lawyerly intrigue, with Ted Olson replacing the very capable Jim Bopp after Jim filed a jurisdictional statement and the court noted probable jurisdiction and set the case for argument.)

Posted by Rick Hasen at August 13, 2009 03:42 PM