I haven’t the energy to go into any detail this evening, but I thought I would just mention that at least based on the news reports, the latest argument to emerge from Scooter Libby’s lawyers, Libby’s Lawyers Say Prosecutor Acted Unconstitutionally, smacks of desperation.
I’d have to read the actual brief to be sure, but the general legal area in which arguments of this sort fall is territory I teach and write in. The Supreme Court held in 1988, in Morrison v. Olson, that a special prosecutor with far more independence than Fitzgerald — one appointed under the old special prosecutor law which has since lapsed — was not an unconstitutional actor. That 7-1 decision has been criticized in hindsight, and only two Justices who participated remain on the Court, including Scalia who wrote a fiery dissent, which may be what prompted this challenge. The trouble is that — unless of course there’s a surprise in the brief — in order for this argument to work you’d not only have to get the Supreme Court to overturn the Morrison decision, which is conceivable if unlikely, but then also get that revised logic to apply to a set of facts that amount to a much, much weaker case for a separation of powers violation — which I think is just not gonna happen.
Update: Fuller Washington Post story.