Posted on October 31, 2008 at 11:57 am by Lyle Denniston
UPDATE 12:31 p.m.Â Â Washington attorney Theodore B. Olson will argue first on Monday afternoon in the case discussed below.Â The parties notified the Supreme Court on Friday that they had agreed that Olson would represent the governor, the state and the town of Charlestown.
The town’s lawyer, Joseph S. Larisa, Jr., who has been involved with the case for more than a decade, said he agreed to Olson’s selection after William K. Suter, the Court’s clerk, called counsel at 11 a.m. Friday. “He said the Court gave us one hour to decide, or all argument time would be forfeited,” Larisa recounted.Â At that point, he said, he agreed to Olson’s selection, in return for being seated as co-counsel with Olson in the courtroom on Monday.
The Court had no comment on this account.
Refusing to decide for itself who will argue one side of a case to be heard on Monday, the Supreme Court on Friday turned asideÂ new pleas to allow divided argument on that side.Â In a brief order in the Indian land rights case of Carcieri v. Kempthorne (07-526), the Court denied motions by both the state of Rhode Island and the town of Charlestown, R.I., to reconsider the Court’s prior denials of split argument.Â The state, its governor and the town all appealed in the case, but they have been locked in an impasse over who will argue in opposition to the federal government’s counsel.Â The Court’s refusal to reopen the issue means, in practice, that it will be up to the three parties to decide on a single attorney to make the argument.Â The Court’s order is here