Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Any other time, it would be a big deal that the attorney general of the United States is arguing before the Supreme Court. But Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s debut in a morning coat on March 25 has been overshadowed by the historic Second Amendment case of D.C. v. Heller, set for March 18. Bloggers are urging anyone who wants a seat for Heller to line up the day before. But Mukasey’s half-hour appearance in the so-called “millenium bomber” case of United States v. Ahmed Ressam is notable. Predecessors Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft passed up the chance to argue at the high court, a courtesy offered to attorneys general by tradition. And their predecessors, Janet Reno and William Barr, argued for only 10 minutes as amicus curiae. Barr borrowed a morning coat from a lawyer in the solicitor general’s office, and Reno did not wear one; they’re not required for women arguing for the government. No word on where Mukasey will get his jacket, but he’ll need some kind of armor. Justices are not overly impressed by AGs and don’t cut them much slack. Dick Thornburgh was roughed up in a 1989 case, but did better in another argument in 1991. Still, AGs are given likely winners to argue, and Ressam, an appeal from the oft-overturned U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, may be no different. Nicholas Katzenbach argued pro se, so to speak, and won the landmark 1966 voting rights case South Carolina v. Katzenbach. Griffin Bell used a prop — a dead snail darter in a vial — and lost in the Endangered Species Act case TVA v. Hill in 1978. No props likely for Mukasey; his case turns on explosives found in Ressam’s car that added 10 years to his sentence.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.