March 19 2007 Legal Blog Roundup

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FBI chief Robert Mueller is shedding buckets of tears and taking—in fact, inviting—all the blame for misusing the Patriot Act. "It's been a great mistake," he's saying. "It's entirely my fault. Blame me and only me."

What he isn't saying is "Never look for those on the field who systematically abused the Patriot Act. Never look for those who actually took confidential data from private businesses by force. That might make things very, very messy. You never know where the trails may lead. It's better for the nation this way."

Mueller will be the fall guy, the martyr, the man who took the blame for the rape of democracy, and the man who says he cannot resign since he needs to remain in his post to correct the mistakes. Welcome to the season of funny fall guys.

Recently, Scooter Libby shot to fame as the martyr of the media. Everybody, including members of his trial jury, said there were bigger fish in Scooter's school. However, nobody went forward to drag out the big fish and punish them. So everybody agreed that Scooter should be punished.

Speculations on his sentencing in Doug Berman's blog hit the mark and make for interesting reading at Sentencing Law and Policy . Peter Henning has taken a different angle on the issue by asking whether the CIA will now start prosecuting everybody who leaks classified information. Read what he has to say at White Collar Crime Prof Blog.

I struck gold when I came across a March 12 article in the National Law Journal. This article discusses issues surrounding jurors who blog and are influenced by blogs. In a case between Stephen Goupil and the State of New Hampshire, the conduct of a juror who blogged came under scrutiny, and thankfully, the decision was in his favor. The ruling that saved the blogger from becoming the fall guy can be found here.

However, the best fall guys of the season were post-office wall clocks, which recently sacrificed themselves for the greater good. The U.S. Postal Service, fed up with complaints from people waiting in long lines, has at last taken decisive action: all wall clocks in its offices have been removed. Check your neighborhood post office to see if you can find one, and don't forget to tell me if you do!

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