A Salmagundi of Secret Searches?
When we last visited Senior 1st Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya, it was in a Feb. 1 post titled, A Salmagundi of 'Selyaisms' -- a reference to the jurist's well-known propensity towards "erudite and arcane vocabulary," as former Selya law clerk Frederick A. Brodie described it in a piece published in the National Law Journal, A Guide to 'Selyaisms.' Now comes the news, via the ABA Journal and the Providence Journal, that Selya has been named presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, the court that hears appeals involving wiretaps of suspected spies and terrorists. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made the appointment on March 27, to take effect May 19. When the ProJo asked Selya how he felt about being involved in such a controversial aspect of national policy, here is how he replied:
In my line of work, you learn you are there to do the job as it presents itself. In my regular work, I never know when I decide a case if it will only be of importance to the parties or of national or historic significance. And you have to handle them all the same way -- to be fair and to approach the problem as intelligently as you can and get the right answers.
Note that Selya answered the reporter's question without ever using the words defenestration, encincture, perlustration, philotheoparoptesism, rodomontade or ultracrepidarian. But given that all of those words have appeared in his written opinions, the lawyers who represent our nation's spy agencies may want to brush up on their vocabularies.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 17, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink
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