Basically two things happen in court -- people try to get someone else's money or the government tries to get someone's freedom. People taken to court are either at risk of losing cash or going to prison.
What Holder said today was that it's time for this outdated, expensive, and largely futile policy to end, or at least be severely curtailed. And that, indeed, is a giant rhetorical and philosophical leap forward.
Their colleagues didn't agree, and Calhoun's conviction stood. But Sotomayor and Breyer's rage at the bias simply pointed up what's long been noted in far too many federal cases, and in the action and behavior of far too many federal prosecutors.
The startling revelation last month of the death threat against my colleague Judge Joseph Biancoreminded me of the death threat made against me a few years ago by Anthony Casso, who went by the charming nickname "Gaspipe."
Early Wednesday morning, three women from two tony towns on the Connecticut shoreline received visitations at their homes by Federal Marshals. Each woman had been charged with multiple counts of defrauding the Internal Revenue Service, filing false tax returns and wire fraud.
Dear President Obama, I'll vote for you in 2012, but you're not making it easy to do so. Your administration's communication skills are, to be honest, horrible. And now we're in for two years of gridlock and hell.